What Makes a Snow Day?

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By Thomas Gillen
Assistant A&E Editor

In the opening months of the spring semester, Post was hit with two snowstorms in January and February.

Due to Winter Storm Jonas, all LIU campuses were closed from Friday, Jan. 22
to Sunday, Jan. 24.

The Great Lawn covered in snow. Picture taken in 2014. Photo: Kristiane Aateigen
The Great Lawn covered in snow. Picture taken in 2014.
Photo: Kristiane Aateigen

On Monday, Jan. 25, LIU campuses were open despite snow fall still on some roads and pathways. Like LIU, Adelphi closed and Stony Brook had a delayed opening until 1 p.m. Hofstra also had a delayed opening, and Molloy College and all St. John’s campuses in New York were closed. Yet, last year, LIU campuses closed on Jan. 27, 2015, due to 9.5 inches of snow in the surrounding area of Glen Cove. All LIU campuses reopened the following day.

Senior psychology major Nicole Balnis feels “there should be a set amount of [snow] days. I do believe that they do add some into the schedule though.” Balnis also believes “there should be a set number [of inches] so that everyone knows when school will and will not be closed.”

More snow fell a week later. On Friday, Feb. 5, the school originally announced a delayed opening until noon, but then closed the campus later in the day. According to Patch.com, Old Brookville received 8 inches of snow by 12 p.m.

Again, on Monday, Feb. 8, all classes were cancelled after 4 p.m. due to the weather conditions. An emergency text was sent out around 2:10 p.m., notifying students, faculty and staff of the cancellation. In preparation for the snowstorm, Mayor de Blasio issued a travel advisory from Monday, Feb. 8 to Wednesday, Feb. 10, according to pix11.com.

According to Joe Schaefer, LIU’s new chief of administration and student affairs, “in the event of inclement weather, our facilities, Public Safety, and Student Life work closely together to determine campus closures or delayed openings if conditions are deemed too severe.

There are no days designated as ‘snow days’ built into the academic calendar. We take into account that the University may close due to weather-related emergencies and are prepared for such contingencies,” he said.

When deciding if the campus should close due to weather conditions, the weather
is not always the determining factor. “A variety of factors such as the predicted conditions, scheduled events and the academic needs of the students are carefully measured before making any decision. We also receive updates from the National Weather Service and Nassau County Office of Emergency Management and local police in the case of extreme weather,” Schaefer said.

Schaefer stated that in the case of bad weather, faculty, staff and students are notied of the status of the campus and classes through texts, email, the school website and social media. There is also an emergency hotline students can call to stay up to date on the weather conditions. If the snow is manageable, facilities, Public Safety and Student Life will clear the parking lots and roads on campus “to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff and to keep our facilities open to serve the Post community,” Schaefer said.

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