In the event of snow or other inclement weather, SPU may close the campus for some or all of the day. This webpage provides an overview of how these decisions are made and announced. Even if the campus is closed, classes may still meet remotely and employees may be asked to work remotely, as further described below. The latest information about the status of SPU during inclement weather can be found here.
SPU wants classes and campus activities to proceed as scheduled when possible. However, SPU may close the campus in the interest of safety. Decisions can be difficult due to uncertain weather projections and the fact that weather affects students and employees differently depending on individual living and transportation situations. The timing of decisions can be challenging because SPU wants to make decisions based on the best information but also wants to provide adequate notice to students and employees.
SPU considers many factors when making inclement weather decisions — including weather forecasts, the condition of campus, the state of roads, public transportation service, and decisions by other schools and school districts — with the safety of students and employees being the most important consideration.
Timing of decisions
SPU will try to announce late start and full-day closure decisions no later than 5:30 a.m. In some cases, a decision may be announced the night before. Decisions regarding early dismissals will depend on the circumstances and will generally be announced at least two hours before the designated dismissal time. Decisions regarding evening classes (i.e., classes that start after 4 p.m.) will be announced by 2 p.m.
SPU uses the following methods to communicate decisions regarding weather closures:
- Text and email: SPU sends text and email messages to contact information entered in SPU‐Alert. Messages are labeled “SPU Weather.” For information about how to check your contact information in SPU‐Alert, see the SPU‐Alert Emergency Notification System webpage.
- Emergency Closure Hotline: SPU posts inclement weather announcements on the Emergency Closure Hotline: 206‐281‐2800.
- SPU home page: SPU posts notices about inclement weather closures on its home page at spu.edu.
Specific services and activities
Classes: Each faculty member who teaches an in-person class that is affected by an inclement weather announcement will determine whether the impacted class will meet remotely at the time the class is normally scheduled, be rescheduled, be canceled, or be replaced by a substitute academic activity. Faculty members will inform their students of their decisions. Classes that are scheduled to occur remotely will still meet remotely during inclement weather unless the faculty member notifies students in the class otherwise.
Dining Services: The service hours for on‐campus dining will depend on the circumstances. The hours for various dining options on campus will be posted online soon after a campus closure is announced.
Library: (Unless otherwise announced)
- If the campus is closed all day on a weekday when classes are in session, the Ames Library will be open from noon to 4 p.m.
- If there is a delayed opening on a weekday when classes are in session, the Ames Library will open when the rest of campus offices open.
- If there is significant snow on a Saturday or Sunday, the Ames Library will be closed all day.
Royal Brougham Pavilion: Brougham may be open for student use on a full or limited basis, depending on the circumstances. Students may check directly with the Department of Athletics for information.
NCAA events: Decisions regarding NCAA events will be made pursuant to NCAA and GNAC procedures and will be announced by SPU’s Department of Athletics.
On-campus work: Even if the campus is closed, some departments may still require certain staff members to report to campus for work (e.g., Office of Safety and Security, Office of Facility and Project Management). These departments will notify their affected staff directly. Employees who are unable to come to campus to work and are unable to work remotely generally will need to take leave.
While SPU makes decisions at the campus‐level regarding inclement weather closures, each student and employee will need to evaluate their own personal circumstances. If an employee does not believe that he or she can safely make it to campus for work, the employee should discuss the situation with their supervisor, chair, or dean. Likewise, if a student does not believe he or she can make it safely to campus for class, the student should notify their professor(s).
Students and employees should be careful in snowy or icy conditions, regardless of whether the campus is open or closed. For example, everyone should:
- Exercise caution when walking, driving, or biking on icy or slippery surfaces, especially when going up or down hill.
- Beware of tree branches that may break and fall due to accumulated snow.
- Beware of snow and ice that may melt and fall off of roofs or branches as temperatures rise after a snowfall.
- Beware of slick surfaces inside buildings (e.g., if people track snow on uncarpeted floors and the snow melts).
- Avoid sledding on public roads and other unsafe areas.
Depending on the circumstances, other precautions may also be appropriate.