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Closing campus for a snow day takes much planning because it affects Weber State's other campuses as well. (The Signpost Archives)

While driving through blizzards and walking through snowstorms, many Wildcats may wonder what it takes for the Weber State University campus to actually close.

When WSU announces a closure, there are ramifications that stretch beyond the main campus.

In the event of a full closure of Weber State, the computer labs and testing centers will be closed in addition to the offices and services.

In this event, the two people most involved with the public and the decision making are Weber State spokesperson Allison Hess and the chief of the Weber State University Police Department Dane LeBlanc.

LeBlanc has been the chief of the University’s police department for over 20 years. One key point he reaffirmed was that this winter is nothing unusual for Utah and these past several years have been a lull.

LeBlanc and other decision makers must seriously consider the decision to close down the schools. The decision requires planning and preparation well before the beginning of the school day.

LeBlanc said, “If we’re going to close our campus, we need to make that decision by 5:30 (a.m.).”

The decision made by LeBlanc and company is for an entire day of classes. If the campus is going to close after the beginning of the school day, they would make the decision by 2:30 p.m., according to the press release sent out by the university.

Not only does the main campus in Ogden close, all of the satellite campuses close as well. That includes the Davis Campus, West Center and the Morgan Center.

The mid-day cancellations only affect the classes that begin at or after 4 p.m. While most workers have the day off because of the weather, all personnel involved in snow removal report for duty.

An issue for students arising with a winter storm cancellation is that such a cancellation requires a makeup day. In an interview with a journalism class, Hess was asked if a snow day would affect the date of graduation.

Hess said, “A snow makeup day would be made up during Spring Break or Finals week.”

The main resource for students to become aware of the snow closure is the Code Purple emergency notification program. In the press release from the public relations department, all students are encouraged to enroll in Code Purple.

Code Purple sends messages to inform students of any campus-wide cancellations or other emergencies. At this time however, Code Purple messages are available only in English.

The snow management crew begins their work around 3 a.m. and continues throughout the day. Part of this work is done to protect the students on the walkways and on the road.

Every year, the university faces at least one lawsuit regarding a person slipping and falling while on the university property.

LeBlanc said, “We have between 10 and 15 accidents in every one of these storms.”

For more information regarding the closures on campus or for any new information students would should check weber.edu/wsutoday.

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