Metro, University News

Despite snow, U. does not cancel operations

Metro Editor
Monday, February 2, 2015

The University will engage in regular operations for the entire day Monday, despite a city parking ban declared by Mayor Jorge Elorza effective at 2 a.m., wrote Russell Carey ’91 MA’06, executive vice president for planning and policy, in a campus-wide email Sunday.

“As a residential academic community Brown will close or delay operations only in unusual circumstances,” Carey wrote in an email to The Herald.

Elorza announced that all public schools in Providence will be closed Monday.  Johnson and Wales, Providence College, Rhode Island College and all six campuses of the Community College of Rhode Island canceled classes Monday, while the University of Rhode Island canceled classes before 4 p.m.

Carey encouraged community members to seek transportation that does not require parking, such as Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority buses and ride-sharing. Those who do not have parking passes for University lots can park in an overflow lot near the Brown Stadium, and a shuttle service will transport them between the lot and the Brown Office Building from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“The cost of operating the shuttle for that lot is minimal,” Carey wrote in his email to The Herald.

Since the storm is forecast to begin early Monday morning, “the timing of the storm will make it challenging for grounds and custodial staff to clear and maintain parking lots, sidewalks and building entrances across the campus simultaneously,” Carey wrote in the campus-wide email.

“All of the staff who participate in managing and responding to winter weather do an amazing job,” Carey wrote in his email to The Herald. “I hope all members of the community will join in thanking them for their service.”

The University has worked closely with the city to encourage the plowing of public streets around the main and Jewelry District campuses, and the Thayer Street District Management Authority “hired contractors this weekend to improve conditions along Thayer Street,” Carey wrote in the campus-wide email.

Monday’s storm will make commuting “generally more challenging than it already is in the wake of last week’s blizzard,” which dropped about 18 inches of snow on campus last week and led to  the cancelation of classes and University operations Tuesday.

Whereas last week’s Winter Storm Juno occurred in sub-freezing temperatures, the forecasted temperatures Monday top out at above freezing, resulting in hail and a wintry mix of precipitation, according to the National Weather Service.

If the University’s decision to continue operations throughout the storm changes, an announcement will be posted on the University’s website and emergency webpage.


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  1. Students who are in wheelchairs or have other movement-related disabilities haven’t a chance of getting around campus today. I think the decision to not cancel classes is a bit ablist.

  2. Dazed and Confused says:

    Sorry, but this has got to be one of the most ill-founded decisions yet. Brown’s status as a “residential academic community” is irrelevant to the snow and ice engulfing College Hill at this moment. Roads remain unplowed, sidewalks are slippery, and even walkways in major on-campus arteries could use some work.

    It doesn’t matter whether a day missed of class sets back a professor’s syllabus if students and faculty are slipping and falling across campus. The amount of broken ribs, sprained ankles, and sore backs are alone enough to warrant the university’s attention. Telling students not to endanger themselves, yet opening school, is remarkably hypocritical.

    But, as with everything related to this university, nothing will get done until a student dies or is seriously injured. And even then, university action will be questionable at best.

  3. This was a very poor decision by the University. Forcing people who do not live on-campus to drive in conditions that are unsafe or to take a hard-earned vacation day is not much of a choice. The news emphasized that the weather conditions and road condition were not good, and that people should try to stay off of the roads. The parking ban makes it very difficult for those people who don’t have parking permits to get to their jobs without having to tromp through the snow from some distant University parking lot. RIPTA buses were late and some people froze while waiting 30 minutes or more for a bus that never came. The University should figure in a couple of snow days in their calendar every year. If they need to be made up at the end of a semester, so be it. It is better than this mess that was created yesterday. What is the administration thinking?

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