Bad Weather & School Emergencies
This Ashland policy discusses weather-related closings.
Highlights of the weather policy
- The AU administration believes that students need to use common sense in making a decision whether or not to travel to campus for classes. The University recognizes that the student is solely responsible for making the final decision regarding travel.
- Any decision regarding classes in the morning will be made no later than 6:30 a.m. A decision to cancel evening classes will be made no later than 3 p.m.
- Cancellation information should be available no later than 7 a.m. for morning classes and no later than 3:30 p.m. for evening classes.
- There are actually six different levels of cancellation listed on the Safety Services website, ranging from a one-hour delay to a total shut-down. If you learn that we’ve got a delay, cancellation, or closing, you need to learn which plan we are following.
- Note that under Plan A, there are three different “Delay” possibilities. These are not truly delays; if we’re under a two-hour “delay,” the 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. MWF classes are simply cancelled and we begin with the 10 a.m. class; Tuesday/Thursday classes have their own unique approach to dealing with delays.
Your best source for information about the campus closing is the university’s web page.
Besides closing for snow emergencies, classes can be canceled for other reasons (for example, a fire at our Elyria campus closed the place for several days during February 2009), so you should check the campus website if you have any questions about cancellations. Weather-related cancellations are extremely rare (maybe once every 24 months).
You can sign up for phone text messages about campus emergencies. This is the link for the Emergency Notification Service.
Specific to Our Course
You should be aware that those University deadlines (6:30 for the decision and 7:15 for information to be posted) are only general recommendations. The decision to actually close may come two or three hours later, even on a very bad day, and it is made by people who live in town. There have been times recently when the decision to close came at 7:55; your instructor must allow 45 minutes’ travel time on a good day, so he will use personal judgment when the weather is bad and the college has not decided whether to close.
Your instructor does not live in Ashland; getting to school involves fifteen miles of highway driving, so there may be days when it’s possible to walk the city streets and get to school, but not to drive here on US 42. That’s why we will apply the “common sense in making a decision” provision to faculty too. I will use common sense in assessing road conditions. Of course, your instructor, being human, may occasionally get sick (that seems to happen about once every 24 months too). For our course, therefore:
- If the AU website or email announcements tell you that the campus is closed, you can assume that our class will not meet. You don’t need any special announcement from me.
- Check your email for class cancellations. If I am sick or the highways (not just the Ashland city streets) are impassable, the information should be posted there no later than an hour before my first class. (Hint: If the ODOT Winter Route Conditions site shows Route 42 in either Ashland or Richland County as Severe Snow/Ice/Drifting, it’s very unlikely that I will be able to get here.)
- If the University is in session, but I’m not here, please allow fifteen minutes before you leave. It’s quite possible for me to be delayed by a wreck on the highway or some similar event. (And remember that if I show up ten minutes late and conduct class, the first thing I will do is to take roll.)
- Some commuters must drive difficult country roads. If we have class, but weather prevents you from driving safely to campus, please tell me about it. Otherwise, you might get an unexcused absence.
- Even if class is cancelled due to weather, the reading assignments go forward as usual, so make sure you keep up with them. We don’t have enough slack in the schedule to simply take a vacation day.