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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMB Weather Closure Policy

The Office of Student Affairs sent out an email on December 3 with information regarding when and how the university closes because of weather.

Last winter, successive snow storms pummeled the city and immobilized the MBTA, resulting in numerous class cancellations.

The information in the email explained the university’s ‘Campus Closure Policy and Procedures for AY15-16,’ which applies to students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Closings will be communicated through the University of Massachusetts Boston Alert system, university website and social media, and local radio and television.

The Chancellor or his Chief of Staff, the Provost, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will decide together how the campus will respond to emergency weather situations.

The administration says safety is its primary concern. Various factors come into play during the decision making process, including the expected length and severity of the weather, and the time at which the decision is made in relation to the school day(s) in question. Although neither a Gubernatorial State Emergency instituted by Governor Charlie Baker or a City of Boston snow emergency declared by Mayor Marty Walsh directly forces the school to close, the administration will take each into consideration. The email says that weather affecting only a limited number of commuters generally will not result in a closing.

There are three types of campus closings for weather. All are effective until 7 a.m. the following morning unless otherwise notified. The worst weather scenarios will lead to the day-long closing of campus and the total cancellation of classes. When the administration chooses a delayed opening, all morning classes and events before 11:00 a.m. are cancelled, and staff must report to work an hour before that time. Finally, the last closing type is an early dismissal, where all offices and the Healey Library close at 4:00 p.m. All events and classes set to begin after that are cancelled.

Athletic events are the only exception. If the university closes early and athletic events are scheduled, the Athletics Department will consult with Public Safety and Facilities and decide if the event will take place.

UMass Boston shuttle buses will operate their normal schedule for two hours after an early closing and for two hours before a delayed opening. After that window, one shuttle bus per Routes #1, #2, and #3 will continue to operate per the normal schedule.

Class cancellations at other locations, such as the Snowden International School near Copley Square, will follow local school decisions. These changes will be announced on radio stations in the communities where the sites are located, and on the College of Advancing and Professional Studies’s section of the university website.

Overnight parking interferes with the plowing of lots on campus. The email states that all cars parked two hours after UMass Boston closes, or at 12:00 a.m. on days when the campus has normal hours of operation, will be ticketed and towed. This overnight parking rule will be in effect between November 1 and April 1.