Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Snow day protocol different at nearby college

Lauren Mainz/Observer Staff After more than 11 inches of snow covered campus on Sunday, facilities services employees worked diligently to clear the way for students and faculty to walk to class. Joe Scifo, director of facilities, says facilities services’s goal when it snows is to have all roads, walkways, stairs and loading docks cleared within 24 hours.

More than a foot of snow dropped onto the Augustana campus last week and although other colleges in our area suggested their students and faculty take precaution and stay home, Augustana decided not to cancel classes.
The email announcing the college would still hold class was sent on the evening of Feb. 1, just a few hours into the storm.
The protocol says that a decision to have a snow day is initiated by the chief of public safety who will assemble the director of public relations, dean of students and vice president of the college to make the final decision.
Sometimes the provost of the college and the vice president of administration and finance will take part in the meeting as well.
If the decision to cancel class is made, students and faculty will be notified via social media, email, local television and e2Campus, a text message alert system.
The college did not decide to cancel the classes due to the large number of students who live on campus.
According to the weather cancellation protocol provided by Sam Schlouch, director of public relations, “In general, due to the residential nature of the campus, the college will attempt to adhere to the academic calendar. Therefore, the college will be open unless communicated otherwise.”
St. Ambrose University in Davenport, a college of similar protocol, closed its campus for the day.
“While the university has a large residential population, there is an equally large number of commuter students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels whose safety traveling to and from classes must be taken into account along with faculty and staff,” said Jane Kettering, a media representative at St. Ambrose, in a statement.
“I think it was a safe choice (to cancel classes) since St. Ambrose couldn’t keep up with all the shoveling and plowing and the streets and sidewalks were not safe yet,” said Francesco Colella, a freshman at St. Ambrose. “Everything turned icy very quickly.”
“It was not that surprising that we got the email saying classes were not cancelled,” said Rachel Fiedler, a first-year at Augustana. “I mean, I’m from Wisconsin and I think we can handle more. It is unfair that St. Ambrose was closed and we were not though.”
Colella said waking up to the news of canceled classes is not as exciting as it was in elementary school.
“I got a text and an email and it just wasn’t as exciting as it used to be,” said Colella. “All I thought of was great, more catch-up work.”
Both representatives of the colleges said the safety of their students, staff and faculty are at the top of the priorities.
They both suggest that if students feels unsafe about traveling to and from class, they should make a decision to stay home.

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Snow day protocol different at nearby college