Severe Winter Weather

The following explains how Andrews University administration makes the decision to work and study remotely due to weather, and where you can get that information in an expedient way.

Please note that even if Andrews University decides to maintain business as usual, University students as well as employees are expected to take personal responsibility for their own safety. If conditions make it unsafe for you to travel to Andrews, please remain where you are safe and make alternate arrangements with your teachers for any classwork that may be missed or contact your supervisors for alternate work arrangements.

Decision Process

The Offices of Transportation, Arboretum/Grounds and Campus Safety consult each other regarding the  weather conditions and access to campus. Transportation is responsible for the parking lots and campus roads while Arboretum/Grounds is responsible for sidewalks and building entrances. Depending on weather conditions, Campus Safety may also send a vehicle out to personally check the main roads coming into Berrien Springs. Additionally, Campus Safety monitors local emergency radio traffic for weather and road conditions off-campus.

Campus operations are likely to proceed like any other work/school day if:

  • Weather conditions are reasonable
  • Community roads can be nagivated
  • The University can effectively maintain campus roads, sidewalks and building entrances

However, if these conditions are not met or other safety concerns arise, the assistant vice-president of the Office of Campus Safety contacts University Administration's officer- in-charge with recommendations regarding remote learning and work for that day. Administration's officer-in-charge makes the final decision on remote learning/work. The Office of Campus Safety and the Office of University Communication then distribute remote learning/work information via AU Alert, the campus weather hotline (269-471-7660), the University’s website, University social media and local TV and radio stations.

Please note that University decisions will not always coincide with the local K–12 school systems who assess risk for a different age group and for indiviudals who may be using a school bus for transportation.

Decision Timeline

The University will review weather conditions and make in-person determiniations typically either by 9 p.m. the day before or by 6 a.m. the morning of. The University may make additional decisions outside of these times to respond to any newly identified concerns.


In the event of severe winter weather, those who are not essential employees will be expected to work remotely as much as possible in coordination with supervisors. Because Andrews is a residential campus, many employees will be considered essential and still be required to report to campus. Given the current hybrid learning environment, please follow these guidelines:

When a severe winter weather remote operations decision involves the entire campus, certain essential workers may be required to continue working in person. Most frequently, this would involve the physical plant areas, Campus Safety, Dining Services and residence hall workers. Under certain circumstances the University may provide transportation for essential workers.

Winter weather conditions can change quickly, and road conditions can be dangerous. Please use sound judgment and extreme caution and exercise personal responsibility for your safety.


In the event of severe winter weather, teachers are expected to provide students with directions on the learning enviroment for that day, which could include remote learning, in-person learning, or a hybrid arrangement.


Where to Get Information

The University uses AU Alert, an emergency notification system that can send email, text messages and voicemails and post to Facebook. All Andrews University employees and students are encouraged to configure their personal emergency notification preferences here. 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).

A banner with any switch to remote learning/work will be posted to the Andrews University website, and announcements will be posted on the University's Facebook and Twitter.

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, page 1, under Emergency Numbers).

Additionally, the following TV and radio stations will carry the pertinent information:

TV Stations
WNDU Channel 16
WSBT Channel 22
WSJV Channel 28

Radio Stations
WAUS 90.7 FM
WVHQ 92.1 FM/
WDOW 1440 AM
WFRN 104.7 FM
WSJM AM 1400
WIRX 107.1 FM
WYTZ 97.5 FM
The COAST 94.9 FM
WSPZ 103.7 FM
SUNNY 101.5
Oldies 94.3
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:

Outdoor Safety

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 the CDC's Winter Weather page for further information on cold weather safety.

For those in our community experiencing winter weather and winter driving for the first time, the following links may also be helpful and interesting:

What is Lake Effect snow?

Wind Chill Index and Cold Weather Safety

Winter Storms and Extreme Cold