by Therese Porod
Warmer temperatures this week will help melt some of the snow from Tuesday’s storm. Benedictine University was bombarded with a heap of snowfall throughout Tuesday, causing the university to cancel classes and activities after 12:30 p.m. Students were alerted at approximately 9:30 a.m.
However, as of 7:13 a.m., morning classes were still scheduled. Because of this, students, faculty and staff rushed to campus to make it to their classes, even with the snow increasing in both magnitude and speed.
This is the second time within one week exactly that there have been classes cancelled due to snow. Robb said that cancelling class due to weather varies every year, depending on the harshness of storms.
Last week, on Tuesday, February 26th, students were surprised with hail and sleet in the late morning, quickly turning into snow within the hour. Struggling to make it to classes in the harsh conditions, the University cancelled all classes and activities after 3:00 p.m.
The Chief of Police, Director of Campus Services, Associate Provost and Executive Director of Marketing and Communications make a recommendation to the Executive Vice President and the President regarding the final decision of cancelling classes according to Mercy Robb, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications.
“We did not cancel morning classes because, per our published standard operating procedure, notification for morning classes is made by 6:00 a.m., and it was not even snowing at 6:00 a.m. There was no reason to cancel morning classes at that time. The snow did not start sticking in Lisle until just before 9:00 a.m. and the forecast called for the heaviest snow to fall mid-afternoon,” stated Robb.
Looking back, there was a blizzard at the end of January last year through the beginning of February 2011, in which almost two feet of snow fell. This caused the university to shut down for the entire day because of snow, according to Robb.
Robb went on to explain that there have not been very many snow days because BenUmakes all attempts to remain open and hold classes.
“We prepare students for the real world and in the real world, there are rarely snow days,” stated Robb.
Robb explained that they follow certain announcement and decision guidelines when cancelling classes. Decision to cancel morning classes is made at 6:00 a.m., delayed opening decisions made by 6:00 a.m., decision to cancel afternoon classes made by 10:00 a.m., and decisions to cancel evening classes is made by 2:00 p.m.
According to Robb, for information about a delayed start or closings, students can tune into BenAlert phone call, text message and email. They can do this by logging on to www.ben.edu/BenAlert for more information. Students can also check their Benedictine email, Facebook page, Twitter account, and local television and radio stations. Emergency closings are also listed at http://www.emergencyclosings.com and http://www.cancellations.com. There will also be a message on the Benedictine University Emergency Information Line at (630)-829-6622.