The following explains how Andrews University administration makes the decision to cancel classes due to weather, and where you can get that information in an expedient way.
How the Decision is Made
At 2 a.m. and again at 5 a.m., Transportation and the Office of Campus Safety consult each other regarding the road and weather conditions. Transportation is responsible for clearing the snow from the parking lots and campus roads. The Office of Campus Safety sends a vehicle out to personally check the main roads coming into Berrien Springs. Safety also confers with their colleagues in the offices of the State Police, County, Sheriff, and Berrien Springs Police, receiving an update on the road conditions in the 36 square miles of Berrien and Oronoko Township. If the roads are clear, the campus roads are plowable, and weather conditions are reasonable, the day proceeds like any other work/school day.
However, if the local roads are impassable, Andrews Transportation is not able to keep up with the snow plowing on campus, or there are significant power failures on campus, the director of the Office of Campus Safety calls the President with recommendations to cancel classes. The President makes the final decision and calls the media communications manager at Integrated Marketing & Communication to authorize distribution of class cancellation information via AU Alert, the campus weather hotline (471-7660), the University’s website and local TV and radio stations.
Please note: Administration and multiple employees in the Division of Integrated Marketing & Communication have the appropriate information to make this protocol work even if one of the decision-makers is out of town or unavailable.
In the event of a closure, hourly workers will be paid for their regular work hours. Because Andrews is a residential campus, many essential workers will still be required to report to campus. The Working Policy on essential workers during a class cancellation day reads as follows:
“When the closure involves the entire campus, certain essential workers may be required to continue working. Most frequently this would involve the physical plant department, campus safety, Dining Services and residence hall workers. Under certain circumstances the university may provide transportation to essential workers.”
Winter weather conditions can change quickly, and road conditions can be dangerous. Please use sound judgment, extreme caution and exercise personal responsibility for your safety.
Where to Get Information
The University uses AU Alert, an emergency notification system that can send email, text messages, voicemails and post to Facebook. All Andrews University employees and students are encouraged to visit www.andrews.edu/go/myems and click on “Configure SMS Notification Preferences” to configure your personal emergency notification preferences. Andrews email addresses are automatically configured into your emergency notifications settings. You can add an additional email and your cell phone number to receive a text message (also known as SMS messages).
A banner with any class cancellation information will be posted to the Andrews University website.
Please do NOT call the Office of Campus Safety. Their lines need to be open to respond to emergencies and assist in other ways. The University's weather hotline will have the most up-to-date information: 269-471-7660 (listed in the campus information directory, pg. 1, under Emergency Numbers).
Additionally, the following TV and radio stations will carry the pertinent information:
WNDU Channel 16
WSBT Channel 22
WSJV Channel 28
WAUS 90.7 FM
PULSE FM 96.9
WVHQ 92.1 FM/
WDOW 1440 AM
WFRN 104.7 FM
WSPZ AM 940
WSJM AM 1400
WIRX 107.1 FM
WYTZ 97.5 FM
The COAST 94.9 FM
WSPZ 103.7 FM
WCSY COSY 98.3 FM
Cat Country 99.9
Andrews Academy and Ruth Murdoch Elementary School
Both University schools, Andrews Academy and Ruth Murdoch Elementary School, make their own decisions about closing their schools for weather-related reasons.
The following tips are taken from the government's Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:
When the weather is extremely cold, and especially if there are high winds, try to stay indoors. Make any trips outside as brief as possible, and remember these tips to protect your health and safety.
Dress Warmly and Stay Dry
Adults and children should wear:
- A hat
- A scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
- Sleeves that are snug at the wrist
- Mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
- Water-resistant coat and boots
- Several layers of loose-fitting clothing
Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton. Stay dry. Wet clothing chills the body rapidly. Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm. Also, avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while de-icing and fueling your car or using a snow blower. These materials in contact with the skin greatly increase heat loss from the body. Do not ignore shivering. It's an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.
Visit http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/guide.asp#outdoor for further information on cold weather safety.
For those in our community experiencing winter weather and winter driving for the first time, the following websites may also be helpful and interesting to you:
What is Lake Effect snow?
Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
Winter Feels Good