Dining halls, SGA still run during winter closures

Dining halls, SGA still run during winter closures

CW File

Less than a month into the spring semester, The University of Alabama has already had to shut down operations due to weather conditions. 

“The most common reason for the University to suspend operations is a weather-related event …The recent snow and ice event, for example, made travel potentially hazardous. So, we suspended normal operations,” Dr. Kevin Whitaker, executive vice president and provost said. 

Even with the possibility of severe weather, the National Weather Service informs the University that conditions may not be appropriate for operations to continue as scheduled. However, operations are not always canceled just because the weather is not pleasant.

“As provost, I, along with several others, comprise UA’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Policy Group. The Policy Group considers classes and all of the events scheduled that day. There may be programs, athletic events and other activities that will also be impacted. Once a decision is made to suspend operations, members of Strategic Communications alert students and faculty and staff via social media outlets, email and, when necessary, phone and text, to the status of campus,” Whitaker said. 

Sierra Stockley, a junior political science major and the SGA’s director of media relations, said how on days when UA closes, SGA members still continue to do their jobs. The SGA offices, like some campus dining halls, remain open during weather-impacted days. 

“It’s always nice to have a day off from school but … [if] something has to be done, we still prioritize that task and work around a closing if necessary…we still update our social media and have our meetings. You can honestly find most of us in the SGA office even on days off,” she said. 

In terms of academics, cancellations can cause professors and students to fall behind their syllabus schedules. This might result in cramming the missed day’s material along with the material of a current class. 

“Sometimes evening activities impacted by the closings might be rescheduled at a later time. As for course content, individual faculty members have the freedom to integrate material from classes that did not meet into classes held during other parts of the semester,” Whitaker said. 

Whitaker said the safety and security of UA’s students, faculty and staff is a top priority when considering keeping the University in operation. 

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