A favorite saying among Central New Yorkers is, if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.

Joking aside, the weather in the Chenango Valley can vary widely from day to day, even over the course of a single day — and the conditions can take some getting used to, as well as a fair dose of fortitude. Here are some tips from our emergency management team about Colgate’s practices and how students can embrace all that Mother Nature provides our campus.

Closures and Delays

When severe inclement weather is expected, Colgate follows a careful process, managed by emergency management staff members, for evaluating and determining its impact on day-to-day campus operations. The procedures support a commitment to the safety of community members and their ability to participate in the University’s academic mission by getting to class, work, and campus activities.

In advance of a storm, the University’s Weather Decision Group (WDG) — senior administrators and representatives from campus safety, emergency management, human resources, facilities, and communications — convenes. This group makes campus operational decisions related to severe weather events on a case-by-case basis. They consider personal health and safety and review the status of roads, parking, pathways, and building accessibility. The WDG also ensures that all utilities are operational and considers how a delay or closure might impact services and planned campus events, including the impact of class disruptions for course continuity and scheduling. 

Closure and delay decisions are communicated directly to student-, faculty-, and staff-registered cell phones via the ColgateAlert system.

As a mostly pedestrian campus, Colgate rarely cancels classes; this may be an adjustment to what students are accustomed to from their primary and secondary school experience. If students do not receive an alert about a closing or delay, it is safe to assume that everything is operating as normal on campus. Students, faculty, and staff also receive notification via email, and the information is shared with local media and posted to colgate.edu and official University social media channels.

Weather impacting travel for breaks

At times when inclement weather will significantly impact travel to and from campus at the beginning or end of breaks, Colgate will send a campus email notification outlining any changes to the schedule, including opening or closing of residence halls, dining services availability, cancellation of classes, and Colgate Cruiser shuttle and other transportation services. These messages are also sent to parents and family members through our official parent and family communications list.

Be prepared and plan ahead

Students need to navigate the mostly pedestrian campus to attend class, visit dining facilities and campus service departments, and take part in social and extracurricular activities. Ensuring that they have adequate footwear, clothing, outerwear, and inclement weather gear such as umbrellas — for all types of weather, including extremes of heat and cold — is essential. 

Snow can sometimes fall faster than it can be cleared from roadways and sidewalks; the grounds crew are always grateful for everyone’s patience as they work to plow and shovel. Whether walking or taking the Cruiser, allowing a few extra minutes to get to class or other destinations across campus is always a good idea for keeping safe and on time.

More at colgate.edu/environmental-health-safety