How Mohawk decides when to close campuses due to weather
With winter approaching comes the possibility of campus closures due to hazardous weather conditions. It is important to become familiar with Mohawk College’s procedures for closing campuses and to know where to go for the latest news and information.
Closing campuses is a not a decision the college takes lightly. Classes need to be made up, tests and exams may need to be rescheduled and events may need to be cancelled. At Mohawk College, the decision to close campuses is guided by the college’s policies and procedures for emergency closures. The college’s facilities and security teams will make the best decision based on the information available at the time.
Mohawk will only close its campuses when remaining open would pose a danger to students and employees while on campus or would prevent a large number of students and employees from coming to campus or returning safely to their homes. The decision to close is made with input from several individuals and includes considerations such as the ability to clear campus walkways, roads and parking lots, the conditions of the roads in and around Hamilton, and the availability of public transit.
If the college decides to close campuses due to hazardous weather, the following will apply:
- All in-person classes and events will be cancelled.
- Virtual classes and services will continue.
- The DBARC will be closed and all athletic activities cancelled.
- All on-campus events will be cancelled.
- Employees who can work remotely will be expected to do so.
If it looks like the college will need to close campuses, the goal is to make the closure announcement no later than 6 a.m. that morning. When the college needs to close part way through the day, every effort is made to announce the closure by 3 p.m. to allow enough time to notify Continuing Education students and instructors involved in evening classes. The announcement will specify whether the closure is immediate or to take place at a stated hour.
No matter what the college decides, it is important for students and employees to make their own assessment about whether or not it is safe to come to campus. The college encourages faculty and employee managers to consider the weather conditions when someone chooses to stay home, recognizing that some people may be traveling from locations experiencing hazardous weather conditions that are further away from the college.
Changes to delivery should only be made in exceptional situations. If it is necessary to change the delivery type of a class, Associate Dean approval is required. Prior to Associate Dean approval, the block schedule of the impacted students needs to be reviewed to consider the impacts this decision will have on the full student schedule.
The best way to learn about closures is to sign up for Mohawk’s SAM (Security Alert Messenger) service. SAM uses text messages, social media, the college website, and email to inform students and employees that the college is closed. SAM is also used for lockdowns and other emergencies that require rapid communication with the college community. It is also helpful to stay tuned to local media outlets, as they will also share news of a college closure.
Students and employees are also encouraged to make themselves familiar with Mohawk College’s Emergency Procedures.