In the event of snow or other inclement weather, SPU may announce a delayed start, an early dismissal, or a full‐day closure. This webpage provides an overview of how these decisions are made and announced. 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 cancel classes and activities in the interest of safety. Deciding whether to close the campus 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 plenty of notice to students and employees.
SPU considers many factors when making closure 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
Timing of decisions
Late start or full closure
- If a decision is made to delay the opening of campus or close campus for the day, SPU will try to announce this decision no later than 5:30 a.m. In some cases, a decision may be announced the night before.
- If a decision is made to delay the opening of campus, any subsequent decision to further delay the opening of campus or close campus will be announced at least two hours before the effective time. For example, for evening classes (i.e., classes that start after 4 p.m.), a decision to close the campus will be made by 2 p.m.
In some cases, SPU may close the campus early due to weather forecasts. The timing of early dismissal decisions will depend on the circumstances. Decisions will generally be announced at least two hours before the designated dismissal time.
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.
Exceptions to closures
Classes online: Even if SPU’s campus is closed due to inclement weather, some faculty members may conduct classes online. Individual faculty members will contact their students directly if a class that normally meets in person will be held online during a weather closure.
Dining Services: The service hours for on‐campus dining will depend on the circumstances. The hours for the 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.
Essential personnel: 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.
While SPU makes decisions at the campus‐level regarding inclement weather delays and 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.