So far SU has been closed four times this semester due to snow, ice and slippery weather conditions. Peter Gigliotti, director of university communications and marketing, explained the procedures taken in order to determine if the university will be open or closed.
“The night before a storm, we get together at 4 p.m. and talk about the weather conditions and the police keep watch over the snow,” Gigliotti said. “When the roads get too bad the ground crew is called in and if there’s too much snow I’ll get an early morning conference call declaring the university closed.”
These calls can come in as early as 4 a.m. so Gigliotti has to stay on his toes through the night in case interim President George “Jody” Harpster decides the weather is too harsh for commuters.
There are a lot of factors that play into the decision of closing campus or not. “You can have perfectly gorgeous weather here and 20 miles away it could be awful,” Gigliotti said. Campus can be completely fit for students to walk to classes, but roads off campus can still be icy and dangerous for commuters.
According to weather.com, Shippensburg is to see temperatures between 24 and 37 degrees this week with a chance of snow showers on Wednesday.
Although this week may have more favorable weather conditions, professors on campus still face problems.
“The weather conditions this spring, while inevitable, have made it increasingly difficult to provide students with the quantity and quality of materials they deserve,” said Holly Ott, professor of communication/journalism.
Ott has been using online sessions as much as possible for her students to keep the pace of the course on schedule.
“I’ve found that being flexible, having a positive attitude, communicating clearly and often, and providing constant support to students has enabled us to continue moving forward productively,” Ott said.
Gigliotti confirmed that commencement will occur on schedule and will not be postponed to another date. Since SU has missed a full week of classes, students may be wondering if they need to make up any more days that could be canceled.
There will be no made up classes due to inclement weather.
Instead, students and professors should use all online aspects of their courses in order to catch up on any missed class work.
Gigliotti is optimistic about the spring and remains positive about classes and courses staying on course for the rest of the semester.