Last Monday, Feb. 2, students and faculty received emails and text messages around 5:50 in the morning announcing that all classes and activities would be suspended for the day. This snow day was the first full-day cancellation due to snow in four years, and students were incredibly excited to catch up on work, sleep, and spend time outside in the snow. Since last Monday, many have been wishing for another snow day, watching the weather reports and wondering what factors will encourage the administration to suspend activities once again.
So how does our administration decide if classes will be cancelled? A small group of faculty including President Glotzbach get on a conference call at 5:00 am and discuss the conditions, “Including but not limited to: weather forecasts—duration and rate of the storm, type of storm (heavy or light snow, winds, ice), safety for students, faculty and staff, if there are National Weather Service Advisories, law enforcement bulletins,” said Barbara Beck, Associate Vice President for Finance & Administration. The committee also takes a look at class schedules for the day and checks if there are any special events on campus. Usually, the committee decides that the day will unfold as usual, and facilities gets to work making sure our campus is as accessible as possible. Sometimes class openings will be delayed, but typically the college works to stay open.
Beck said that the storm that Monday “was going to hamper faculty and staff and commuting students in both their drive in and home from campus, so safety was a concern and town and city plows were not going to be keeping up with clearing.” It’s not unusual that Saratoga has to deal with a lot of snow, but it’s vital that professors and staff can safely get to and from Skidmore. With a true blizzard, that may prove impossible and lead to a snow day.
For those curious, the college’s official inclement weather policy can be found online at http://www.skidmore.edu/hr/documents/InclementWeatherPolicy.pdf.