Snowstorm Season is Coming: How does UConn prepare?  

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A student strolls through the student union lawn on a snow-covered winter day. Students will be notified of decisions to delay or cancel classes by 5 a.m. The fastest way to be alerted of a decision would be to sign up for text message notifications from the University.  File Photo / The Daily Campus

A student strolls through the student union lawn on a snow-covered winter day. Students will be notified of decisions to delay or cancel classes by 5 a.m. The fastest way to be alerted of a decision would be to sign up for text message notifications from the University. File Photo / The Daily Campus

In situations of inclement weather, a group of University of Connecticut representatives makes the decision to cancel classes for the University. 

“Inclement weather can take many forms: Snow, heavy rain with flooding potential or other unusual conditions,” University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. “Most often, though, the ‘inclement weather’ we’re referencing is snow and/or ice.” 

That decision is made regardless of business hours, meaning that the phone conference call to make a decision could be held as early as 4 a.m., said Reitz. 

“The University has a group of representatives from several offices that discuss these decisions and reach consensus, including emergency management, police and fire, facilities, provost’s office, communications and the offices of the president and the executive vice president for administration,” Reitz said. 

Their decisions are usually influenced by short and long-term weather forecasts, as well as road conditions near the campus, class schedules at the multiple UConn campuses and a variety of other factors, such as how the state government is handling the weather forecast, said Reitz. 

If the University decides to cancel or delay classes, services necessary to student health and safety will still continue to operate.  

“Certain operations must continue even in severe weather, including public safety, residential and dining services, health services, animal care, facility maintenance and other critical services,” said a UConn announcement sent on behalf of the interim provost, executive vice president for academic affairs, executive vice president for administration and CFO.  

The cancelation of transportation operations and other services are decided on a case-by-case status, said the announcement.  

Students will be notified of decisions to delay or cancel classes by 5 a.m. The fastest way to be alerted of a decision would be to sign up for text message notifications from the University. Directions to do so can be found under the “Get Alerts” section of the UConn Alert Page, said the announcement.  

While classes and other events run by the University may be canceled, cancelation of events run by Jorgensen and UConn Athletics are decided independently, said the announcement.  

“Jorgensen and UConn Athletics make their own decisions based on the fact that they have ticketed events under contract, and they need to consider those factors,” said Reitz. “For instance, UConn Athletics usually will still hold home games if the other team and referees have already arrived in town.”   

Reitz said that if the state closes the roads, UConn Athletics will then cancel its events.  

Finally, even if the University does not cancel classes, individual classes may be canceled by professors on an as-need basis if they cannot report to work due to poor driving conditions.  

On the flip side, professors must also respect the decisions of commuter students who cannot make it to class for the same reason, but those students are encouraged to contact their professors as soon as possible to make up work missed, said the UConn announcement.  


Amanda Kilyk is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached at amanda.kilyk@uconn.edu.

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