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Inclement Weather Policy

This policy is not in the purview of Student Affairs.

Inclement Weather Policy

The college will remain open unless weather or other emergency conditions are so severe as to require closure or delayed operations. Any decision regarding closure or delay of operations will apply to all administrative offices, college events, classes, athletic practices, and other programs. Some exceptions include those critical staff whose presence is required on campus to provide essential support for campus residents, as described below.

Authorizations: The decision to close the college or delay operations due to inclement weather or other emergencies will be the joint responsibility of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty and the Chief Financial Officer. Each of those officers will have the authority to make such decisions in the absence of the other. Should both of those officers be unavailable, this authority may be delegated to other members of the President’s Cabinet.

Communications: In the interest of avoiding confusion and inconsistent and unauthorized messages, the Vice President for Communications will coordinate distribution of ALL announcements regarding college closure, collegewide class cancellation or delayed operations. Such announcements may be communicated through a variety of methods, including:

  • Posting on the Whitman College homepage/website.
  • Emergency phone line (call in, with recorded message). 
  • Email and text messaging.
  • Social media.
  • Notification of local media sources (radio, TV, newspaper). 

Weather conditions will be closely monitored seven days a week. To the extent possible, announcements will be sent out prior to the early morning commute, by 7 a.m. However, students, faculty and staff should understand that developing weather conditions may make early notification impossible.

It is, therefore, the responsibility of all members of the Whitman community to maintain awareness of conditions, to be watching for college messages, and to be in touch with their colleagues, professors, and work supervisors. When major winter storms are predicted, staff and faculty are encouraged to anticipate closure or delayed operations and to take home materials they may require for their work to be done remotely, if feasible.

Safety, Discretion and Judgment: Adverse weather conditions may make it difficult, if not impossible, for some to come to campus, even if the College remains open. If, in the best judgment of students or employees, based on their individual circumstances, conditions are too hazardous for travel, they should not make the attempt, should remain home, and should notify their respective work supervisors or professors.

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