By Carmen Miller
After weeks of waiting, winter has finally arrived, so what are we to do if the winter wonderland becomes a winter wasteland?
Back in November, it seemed that winter weather was right around the corner, temperatures had dropped and snow flurries filled the air. A hot October suddenly turned to a freezing tundra, dropping as low as 20 degrees on Halloween. And then, just as suddenly, we had the warmest Christmas in over a hundred years.
For weeks since it had seemed fall had fought for another few months or spring had decided to come early; it was 70 degrees on Jan. 21! Barely into February, we’d already had almost an inch of rainfall.
But in early February, the water turned to ice and snow finally began to fall again on the IU Southeast campus. With winter weather finally upon us, how are campus classes and activities affected?
What happens on campus when it snows? Will campus close?
Snow does not always warrant a campus closure. However, if administrators deem that weather conditions have become a safety hazard to students and the IU Southeast community, there are several possibilities.
Oftentimes, snow and ice are worst early in the morning due to the cooler temperatures, and once the sun rises, the snow and ice melt away later in the day. This may mean that IU Southeast operates on a snow schedule, otherwise known as a two-hour delay. The delayed schedule can be found on IU Southeast’s emergency preparedness website.
Off-campus classes will follow the above schedule as well. If the weather becomes bad enough to necessitate a campus closure, all off-campus classes are also canceled.
If you have a Saturday class on a delayed schedule, morning classes will meet at 10 a.m. to noon, and afternoon classes will meet at regular times.
How will I know if campus is running on any inclement weather policies?
Although IU Southeast is not often affected by poor weather, when action is necessary, an official notice will be given to local news stations to publicize any delay or cancellation. Additionally, IUPD issues an immediate notification to all students and employees through IU-Notify.
Depending on the settings listed in your One.IU account, you may receive a phone call, text message and/or email. To ensure you are notified, check your settings by logging into One.IU.edu and searching for “IU-Notify” and opening “Emergency Notification Settings.”
Ultimately, the decision is made by a group consisting of Chancellor Ray Wallace, the vice chancellor for administration and finance, the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and staff from Emergency Management and Continuity, Campus Physical Plant and IUPD.
What if I live on campus?
The IU Southeast Lodges do not close when campus closes, and residents will continue to have access to their buildings. In cases of cool weather, residents may even find a nice seat by the fireplace to warm up and get cozy.
How do I stay safe in cold weather?
IU Southeast’s main priority is always the safety of our students, staff, faculty and community. To help ensure your safety in poor weather conditions, make sure you stay up to date on campus delays and closures.
If you commute to campus or find yourself needing to drive in poor weather, Indiana road conditions can be obtained by calling (800) 261-ROAD or (800) 261-7623. It is advised for drivers to keep emergency kits in their vehicles. You may also want to keep an emergency kit at home.
To learn more about how to prepare your own emergency kit, visit the Protect IU emergency planning website for a list of tips and suggestions.
IU Southeast tries to ensure all outdoor walkways around campus are safe and clear, however it is encouraged to remain cautious as ice may continue to form. To avoid falling, Emergency Management and Continuity staff, as well as Environmental Health and Safety staff, advise people to do the “penguin shuffle.” That is, take small steps and keep hands free from pockets or carrying belongings. Remember that curbs and steps are the most dangerous surfaces, so use handrails when possible.
Snow can also be fun though, so, while remaining safe, don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of the weather! Maybe build a snowman or have a snowball fight with some friends, go sledding or make snow angels. Just watch out for gifts from geese lying beneath.