This policy establishes a plan of action for the university’s response to inclement weather emergencies. For the purposes of the policy, inclement weather emergencies are defined as snowstorms or other adverse wintry weather conditions which significantly impede normal University operations or prevent University faculty, staff, or students from traveling to or traversing the campus. An inclement weather emergency may cause the University to cancel classes and close University offices, to delay the opening of the University, or to close the University early.
The vice president for Administration & Finance will be responsible for the decision to close the university or to delay or suspend any of its operations. The vice president for student affairs will serve as back-up whenever the vice president for Administration & Finance is unavailable.
The essential factor in the decision to close the university or to suspend operations is the safety of commuting faculty, staff, students, and visitors, based on an evaluation of the current and predicted condition of the campus and the immediate vicinity of the university. Weather conditions of limited duration or severity generally will not result in the closing of the university.
The following procedures should be followed in the event of existing or expected inclement weather:
1. If adverse weather conditions are known or predicted during regular business hours, the vice president for Administration & Finance will convene the inclement weather team. If the vice president for Administration & Finance decides, based on input from the team, that the university should be closed or its opening delayed, an announcement to that effect will be made.
2. If adverse conditions are expected to develop after regular business hours, the police supervisor on duty will notify the director of physical plant about weather conditions by 3:30 a.m. The grounds manager will serve as back-up to the director of physical plant. The police supervisor will provide the following information:
• Details of the latest weather forecast.
• Road conditions in Bridgewater and the vicinity of the university.
• Road conditions on campus.
• Condition of campus parking lots.
3. The director of physical plant will notify the vice president by 4:00 a.m. with his or her assessment of the information provided by the police supervisor, and also the director of physical plant determination as to whether the university’s roadways, walkways, and parking lots can be cleared before the scheduled start of classes.
4. The vice president for Administration & Finance will decide if the university should be closed or its opening delayed, and will notify the public information officer and the staff assistant to the vice president so that a public announcement of the closing can be made by 5:30 a.m.
5. By 5:30 a.m., the public information officer will contact the radio and television stations listed below, informing them that the university has been closed or its opening delayed:
FOX-TV Channel 25 NECN Website
WBZ-TV Channel 4
WCVB-TV Channel 5
WLNE-TV Channel 6, 10, 12 & Fox 64
WHDH-TV Channel 7
6. By 5:30 a.m., the staff assistant to the vice president will record the closing or delay announcement on the university’s cancellation line (508-531-1777), as well as the university’s website. The student call-in line in Human Resources (508-531-1391) will be changed to the same announcement as the 1777 line.
If the university is closed: If it is announced that the university is closed, all classes are canceled and most university offices are closed. The university’s power plant and police station will remain open at all times. The residence halls and at least one dining hall will remain open, and depending on the circumstances, some or all of the following buildings or offices may remain open: the Rondileau Campus Center, the Tinsley Center, and essential offices in Boyden Hall. Only designated essential university personnel will be required to be present. All other employees are discouraged from coming to campus.
Early release or weekend closing: If the university is not closed in the early morning hours, deteriorating weather conditions or anticipation of hazardous road conditions may necessitate that the university close at mid-day, in the evening, or on a weekend. In these instances, the announcement will say that “the university will close at _______ o’clock.” Essential employees should follow their assigned schedules.
If the university’s opening is delayed: The start of classes and the opening of university offices will be postponed until the delayed opening time. Ordinarily, the university opens at 8:00 a.m.; therefore, any delay will begin at 8:00 a.m. (i.e., a 2-hour delay would mean that the university would open at 10:00 a.m.). Only designated essential university personnel will be required to report at 8:00 a.m. Other university employees will be required to report to work at the delayed opening time.
If the university remains open: Normal operating hours are in effect and no special announcement will be made. University employees should report to work as usual, and all classes should meet. During inclement weather, university community members are responsible for inquiring about the university’s operating status by checking the university’s cancellation line or web page. Although the university will distribute closing information to regional news outlets, community members should not depend on the news media for complete, accurate, and up-to-date information.
Other BSU locations: In most cases, the decision to close the university, to open late, or to close early will apply simultaneously to the Bridgewater campus and to the New Bedford Airport and Attleboro locations.
Some university employees (e.g., police, critical physical plant personnel, etc.), because of the nature of their jobs, are identified as “essential personnel” during times of inclement weather. Essential personnel will be identified as such by their supervisors. A list of employees identified as essential personnel will be maintained in the university’s Human Resources Office.
Essential employees are required to report to or to remain at work regardless of university closings or delayed openings. Essential employees who are overtime-eligible will receive one hour of straight compensatory time for each hour worked during normal work hours, and time-and-one-half for hours worked beyond the normal tour of duty.
If an essential employee fails to report for work during a closing or delayed opening, he or she will be charged a day of pay unless an illness or other emergency has been correctly reported to the university and can be documented. An essential employee must report within a reasonable amount of time during his or her shift to be counted as present for the full day and credited with compensatory time.
During closings or delays in opening, employees normally scheduled to work will be compensated as if they had actually worked during those time periods. Employees will not need to use leave to cover the hours, except that employees who previously requested sick or vacation leave will be required to record those hours as such.
On-campus events and activities: If the university is closed, events will ordinarily be canceled unless particular circumstances demand otherwise and the requisite level of support is available. The department sponsoring an event, along with the director of conference and event services, will confer with the vice president for Administration & Finance and the appropriate area vice president to determine whether an event may continue to take place.
Off-campus activities: Generally, the closing of the university includes the cancellation of off-campus activities.
If the university is closed during a scheduled exam period, information on new exam dates will be available via the university’s homepage as soon as possible.
If the university is closed, every effort will be made to provide food service in as many dining locations as possible. The available menu may be limited.
If the university is closed, the Children’s Center will be closed during the same period as the university. If the university closes early, the Children’s Center will arrange with parents for an appropriate pick-up time.
The BSU Police and Residence Life and Housing staff will closely monitor the safety of the resident students remaining on campus while the university is closed. Since the Health Services Office will be closed, student illnesses and other health issues should be reported to the BSU Police.
All students: When there is an actual or anticipated snow emergency, rotating yellow “snow alert” beacons will be activated in campus parking lots and signs will be displayed in campus residence hall lobbies. These beacons and signs are meant to indicate that students should park only in their designated lots, and that they should expect further snow parking information to become available during the weather emergency.
Designated sections of certain resident lots (Shea-Durgin Lot, Rosen Lot, Great Hill Drive Lot, Woodward Lot and the Great Hill Student Apartments Lot) have signage indicating that in the event of a snow alert, those designated sections must be vacated by 11:59 p.m. on the day that the snow alert is put into effect, or vehicles will be ticketed and towed to allow sufficient space for snow removal. Cars should be moved to unrestricted spaces in any authorized lot.
During a snow alert, in addition to the designated sections of resident lots mentioned above, any vehicle parked in violation of snow alert instructions will be ticketed and may be towed without warning if the vehicle's location obstructs snow removal efforts. The current fine for impeding snow removal is $50.00. If a vehicle must be towed, it will done at the vehicle owner's expense, at a cost of $125.00 plus $20.00 per day storage and the $50.00 fine (fees and fines are subject to change).
Commuter and faculty/staff lots will receive first priority for snow removal to ensure that these lots are ready once the university re-opens. Resident lots will then be cleared.
Resident students: It may be necessary for resident students to move their cars to facilitate snow removal. This notification will be made through pre-recorded snow parking messages at 508-531-7765 (RSNL) and channel 71 of the ResNet cable television system.
Resident students will be asked to move their cars temporarily while resident lots are cleared. Instructions and timelines will be provided via the methods outlined above. During the winter weather season it is advisable for all permit holders to maintain scrapers and shovels in their vehicles to assist in moving from one lot to another and back again when the lot is cleared.
Commuter students: Commuter students may call the Inclement Weather Line at 508-531-1777 (or listen to the radio and television stations identified above) to learn if university will be closed.
When the university is closed commuter students are asked not to come on campus. If for some reason you are required to do so, you must contact the BSU Police for special parking instructions. Failure to do so may result in enforcement action for impeding snow removal.
Students with disabilities requiring assistance: The BSU Police will be the contact point for the needs of disabled students. The police will notify the director of physical plant of any such requests.
University employee parking when the university is closed: It is critical that nonessential employees do not report to work voluntarily during a closure. Essential employees should park in their regularly assigned parking spaces unless otherwise directed by the BSU Police.
Last Modified: August 30, 2010