Severe Weather Causes Cancellations

Severe weather conditions resulted in the cancellation of classes and all non-necessary campus operations on Monday, December 2, following Thanksgiving break. Associate Vice President for Campus Safety, Environmental Health and Emergency Management Dan Gough sent out an email to the Colgate community on Sunday, December 1, informing students, faculty and staff that the Weather Decision Group was actively monitoring the intense weather. In the email, he encouraged students’ early return following the nine-day vacation. In anticipation of the early influx of students to campus, dining and library services opened and operated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 30.

Due to the cancellation of many flights into Syracuse on Sunday afternoon and evening, many students found it difficult to travel back to Colgate for classes on Monday, December 2. 

Sophomore Annie Oldham said she believed she was in the clear after her connecting flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Syracuse took off as scheduled on Sunday afternoon. However, Oldham was discouraged when the pilot announced that the plane would be turning around midair and returning to Atlanta due to inclement weather in New York.

“Not only was I upset to have to return to Atlanta, but I was now worried about having to take a taxi from Syracuse to Hamilton at a much later hour on Sunday night — assuming my second flight did take off. The snow was supposed to worsen as the night 

progressed, so I felt as though my trip back to Colgate was getting more difficult by the minute,”  Oldham said.

Students, faculty and staff received an email around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday evening from Gough cancelling classes and all non-necessary campus events on Monday, December 2. Gough said that the decision came about due to the “heavy snow and dangerous driving conditions expected in the region overnight.” The email informed the Colgate community that only essential personnel were required to be on campus Monday and that all other students and faculty should use their discretion and travel with caution. 

Sophomore Katie Gold said she was relieved to hear that Monday’s classes were canceled, as her travel plans were derailed by the weather. Gold admitted that while the experience was stressful, in retrospect, it is a funny story to tell. 

“My flight from Chicago was supposed to land at Syracuse [but] never did, as we were diverted to Rochester on Sunday. The airline completely canceled our flight, and me and a few other Colgate students ended up having to spend the night in Rochester,” Gold said. 

Decisions regarding weather, such as Monday’s cancellation, are determined by the Weather Decision Group. This group is composed of members of the Colgate faculty, human resources, facilities, communications and senior administration, who are tasked with monitoring and reporting weather patterns via the National Weather Service.

When making weather-related decisions, the group takes the health and safety of the Colgate community into account first and foremost while also considering the state of neighboring roads, parking, campus footpaths and cruiser operation. Moreover, the ability and safety of maintenance to lay down salt, plow roads and plow pathways is taken into consideration.