Are snow days a thing of the past?

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By: Kate Luce


   As the weather gets cooler, maybe the one thing most people aren’t looking forward to is snow. With poor weather conditions, it’s inevitable that students might have to drive through wintery conditions, but what might determine when IU South Bend closes? Well, there are a few factors that come into play with a closure.

   First, it takes boots on the ground, rubber to the road and monitoring the weather days before, according to Paige Risser, director of communications and marketing.

   “Sometimes winter storms result in special plans for clearing streets and sidewalks. When safety concerns escalate, a conference call involving senior campus management may be held to consider details such as the status of grounds, buildings, walkways and bus system, as well as weather forecasts and travel advisories,” Risser said.

   While emergency managers, the police and facilities operation staff have a say in when campus closes, it ultimately comes down to the Chancellor to make a final decision.  

   The safety of both students, staff and faculty are in the forefront of decisions. The status of IU South Bend’s grounds, buildings, walkways and the South Bend Transpo system are considered.

   “Sometimes conditions on a campus may be clear yet the winter storm dumped a foot of snow on nearby communities. In such cases, students and employees are instructed to assess travel conditions where they live and determine whether it is safe for them to travel to class or work.  Students should not endanger themselves nor ignore the statements of local officials about traveling during adverse weather,” Risser said.

   Students, especially commuting students, should reach out to their professors if they do not feel safe coming to class due to road conditions. If students might need extra support, they are asked to reach out to the Dean of Students.

   With campus closed, it’s up to professors teaching in-person classes to decide if class is held through Zoom. Faculty can also post assignments or lectures for missed class. Bad news students, snow days may be a thing of the past.

   It should be stated that online classes will continue as normal during a campus closure, which includes Zoom meetings.

   So far, the area has not seen any snow yet, but as we all know, the weather can change in an instant. The last time IU South Bend closed was in January of 2019. When it snows, safety should always be a priority.

Photo provided by IU South Bend’s Instagram.

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