How are campus closings decided?

Andrew Kicmol , Editor in Chief

Madison College has experienced an unusual start to the semester with five snow and ice days causing the college to be closed. For anyone wondering what goes into the decision to close, well it’s not that simple.

“It’s more art than science,” said Mark Thomas Vice President of Administrative Services

When the college is considering closing it looks are a number of different things. They follow the road conditions from the Department of Transportation, what the K12 school district decides, along with what the current weather conditions along with what forecasted weather will be.

The decision also takes into consideration various campuses the college has: Truax, South, Commercial Avenue, West and the regional locations outside of Madison.

There could be a foot of snow in one campus while the rest are unaffected. The decision to close one doesn’t necessarily mean the others will all be closed too.

With the negative temperatures, it was an easier decision to make because it was considered a danger to be outside for even just 10 minutes. But when it comes to snow it’s a harder call.

If it starts snowing at 10 p.m. and forecasted to snow until 10 a.m. it’s easier to predict the need to close and give students and staff enough notice time. But if it’s forecasted to snow at 4 a.m. then a decision about closing won’t be until closer to the start of the school day.

Public Safety is always in contact with administration letting them know the status of the campus. There are snow crews twenty-four seven hours a day working hard to make sure that the college can stay open if at all possible. From that information along with all the other variables administration talks then decides if they want to close.

While frustrating for some that the decision may be made on the day instead of the night before, the college does it’s best to give as much time as possible for students and staff.

“We don’t have one criteria that says when this happens we will close,” said Thomas.

Public Safety is also always in contact with administration letting them know the status of the campus.

Because the college doesn’t operate like the K12 school district, it’s harder to say just close and make up time at the end of the semester. College students and staff need to know that the semester is going to end on time. The summer semester starts also needs to start on time.

The college is the best source for any notice on closings or any other type of alert notices, like a possible dangerous situation. When the college sends out the notice, it’s an alert that goes out to in as many different places as possible, the college calls it WolfPack Alerts.

Madison College email, the Madison College website, WolfPack Connect and the Informacast mobile app. In the app you can login with your Madison College email and password to get Madison College alerts. 

Whatever the forecast the college tries it’s best to stay open so everyone can get to class and have a full semester of learning, but if it does close, be sure to check one of the many alert options to see what’s going on.