With the winter season around the corner and snow sure to be in the forecast soon, we’re providing some clarification about campus closures.
Who doesn’t love a snow day? While it can often seem like a predicted snowfall or ice storm is sure to cause campus closures, in actuality they are rare occurrences. Decisions about shutting the university are made based on a number of factors, including:
Though it happens rarely, if severe weather conditions put the safety of the community at risk, the university may close operations. In some cases, the decision is made to cancel just some classes and/or exams but otherwise remain open; in other cases, it’s a full campus closure. For example, if morning classes and exams are cancelled but weather and transit improves through the day, the university could reopen for afternoon and evening classes.
This decision is made by the Vice-President, Administration and Operations and the Provost and Vice-President, Academic as outlined in the Restricting/Closing Operations Because of Severe Weather Conditions - Campus Closure Policy. A number of areas around campus, such as Facilities Management and Development provide input to help make the decision.
In the event that the university is closed, classes and examinations are suspended, university buildings are closed, meetings and events are cancelled, the Early Learning Centre is closed, and employees are not required to be present at work. Some essential services do still continue to function; for example, those services required to support vulnerable research, personal safety and university infrastructure.
Semesters are scheduled fairly tightly, with 12 (or 13) weeks of class, one reading week, two weeks of exams and then grades are due. If classes are cancelled, it generally means that one of those 12 classes is missed entirely. Students should check communications from their professor/instructor for details on how the missed class will be addressed. If a professor/instructor wants to schedule a makeup class, it’s often very difficult to find a common time among students that also matches up with space availability. If it’s during exams, it means that exam dates get pushed into early January during registration week.
In these exceptional situations, the university works to find solutions to minimize the impact on faculty, staff and students. Given the amount of coordination and level of impact that a single day closure can cause, the university works to keep campus open unless severe weather conditions put the safety of the community at risk.
In the event of inclement weather, the community is put on alert the night before via Twitter, reminding everyone to keep tabs on our social media accounts. Our goal is always to communicate a campus closure status by 6:15 a.m. In the event of a closure:
The @RyersonU twitter account will always have the most up-to-date information.