Winter has finally descended upon the University of Toledo bringing with it ice, snow and dangerous wind chills.
These conditions can often make getting around on campus difficult and it can often make traveling to and from campus hazardous for commuter students.
Whenever winter weather pummels the Toledo area, UT officials are faced with the decision to cancel class or not.
In past years, the decision to cancel classes on Main Campus has been a rare one; however, since the start of spring semester UT has canceled or delayed classes on three occasions.
UT made the decision to cancel all main campus classes on both Jan. 30 and 31 due to the bitterly cold wind chills that plagued Toledo and surrounding areas.
Then on Feb.13, the university canceled all morning classes as a result of an ice storm that coated much of the area with up to a quarter inch of ice.
With the unusual winter weather and number of related cancellations, many students are left to wonder if the university has a general policy on when to cancel class.
The only policy currently set in place by UT is in the event Lucas County declares a level three snow emergency and is outlined in the university’s Continuity of Operation and Essential Personnel policy.
According to the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, a level three snow emergency means, “All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists.”
When speaking with students around campus, many mentioned that even when the university did not cancel class, many professors took it into their own hands to cancel their classes.
Elizabeth Erne is a second-year student at UT and has had some professors voice their concerns about the winter weather.
“If they’re not comfortable driving, then they cancel class so the commuters don’t have to drive,” Erne said.
She mentioned that having those classes cancelled gave her time to relax and get work done for other classes.
With the winter still raging on, the university was prompted to set up a new web page where students can check the status of events and classes.wwwUToledo.edu/weather is UT’s new page for students to check if inclement weather has affected any campus operations.
The page is run by the University Marketing and Communications department and is updated regularly during winter weather events.
Along with the website, the university also sends out both text and email alerts when classes are canceled using the UT Alert system.
Students who are not signed up for the alert system may do so at utalert.utoledo.edu.
UT will also post on its social media accounts and inform local media outlets of any major closures or impacts to campus operations.
It is crucial this time of year that students dress appropriately for the conditions. If any UT students are in immediate need for winter clothing, they may receive it while supplies last from Kate’s Closet located in the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women in Tucker Hall Room 0168.
As always, when winter weather affects travel on campus, it is important for students to give themselves some extra time to get where they are going.