The winter weather this week has been quite an event, hasn't it?
You may wonder about what goes into making decisions about canceling classes or closing the university. Let me start by saying that student safety, shelter, nutrition and health are always foremost in our minds. Clemson University uses a weather service that can focus directly on the main campus and give us good information about weather conditions and when and how they will affect us. We solicit information from county emergency managers, and city police to inform our decisions about road conditions. At the first sign that an inclement weather event may occur, our safety personnel monitor the forecast continually and talk with the weather meteorologists. A group of university officials, representing student affairs, housing, dining, facilities, graduate and undergraduate academics, risk management, campus safety, transportation, personnel and communications, meets frequently to monitor the conditions and prepare for changes to normal operations and schedules prior to, during and after the weather event.
Another factor in the decision to make a schedule change is the operating status of county government offices. (This does not mean county school systems.) When county government offices close, state agencies in that county also must close.
When conditions indicate a change in normal operations and classes is warranted, the action plan to manage the alternative schedule is implemented and communicated via internal and media communication systems and updated as additional decisions are made.
As Vice President for Student Affairs, it is my responsibility to make the decision about campus closure for instances of inclement weather. I always do this in consultation with our Provost, Dr. Nadim Aziz and, of course, keep President Clements informed. The first factor that is considered in any decision is your safety. We also consider potential missed class time, how off-campus students, faculty and staff might get to campus, and our ability to manage the essential needs of the campus.
I hope this helps you to understand the careful consideration that is given to your welfare and closing campus.
Gail A. DiSabatino
Vice President for Student Affairs
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