Weather-Related Closing Information

Weather-related closings and delays may occur because of conditions like significant snowfall, ice, fog, and extreme cold that may lead to unsafe travel and mobility both on and off campus. Every effort is made to keep the university open because of the large resident student population and to minimize interruptions to the academic calendar.

Communication

Closings/cancellations will be announced through internal and external channels by University News Services.

Internal RIT Communication Methods

Local Media

  • TV – 8 (WROC), 10 (WHEC), 13 (WHAM), FOX Rochester, TWC News
  • Radio –
    • AM – 1040, WHAM 1180 News Radio, 1240, Fox Sports 1280,1370
    • FM – 89.1, 92.1, 92.5 WBEE, Fickle 93.3, 94.1 The Zone, Radio 95.1, 95.7 ESPN, 96.5 WCMF, 97.9 98PXY, 98.9 The Buzz, 100.5 The Drive, WARM 101.3, Sunny 102.3, 103.9 WDKX, Kiss 106.7, 107.3 The Bull

Conditions

When a weather related event is predicted or is happening, Public Safety will take the lead in monitoring and assessing conditions. The following sources are used:

  • Monroe County Office of Emergency Management
  • National Weather Service
  • Town of Henrietta Highway Department
  • Local media
  • Facilities Management Services (campus condition and transportation)

Conditions that could give rise to RIT implementing a severe weather closure include but are not limited to:

  • Public Safety receiving storm data from these four sources of an area wide "storm warning advisory of no unnecessary travel"
  • Monroe County Office of Emergency Management advises "emergency travel only"
  • On-campus roadway, parking, walkway and building conditions not suitable for driving, parking and/or walking

Decision-Making

Process

Public Safety, in consultation with Facilities Management Services, will notify the Associate Vice President for Global Risk Management Services to advise of current and projected conditions. The Associate Vice President for Global Risk Management Services will make recommendations to the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration. The Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration will notify the Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs, who will decide on the course of action – open as scheduled, delay opening, early closing, or full closure.

Timing

For conditions occurring overnight, an effort will be made to notify the university community by 6:00 a.m. if a decision has been made to delay opening or close. If the emergency condition lasts for more than one day, a daily announcement will be made.
For conditions occurring during the day, notification regarding closure will be as soon as possible after the decision has been made.

Campus Snow Removal Process

By The Numbers

6 - hours for one complete snow removal run
9 - miles of roads
15 - miles of walkways
52 - acres of parking lots
58 - sets of stairs/ramps

The goal is to have the campus clear of a snow fall by 7:30 AM to ensure that the RIT community can function with minimal disruption during a snow event. Not all snow falls are equal. Each snow fall event is treated uniquely based on several variables such as:

  • Time the snow falls
  • Duration of the snow event
  • Amount of the snow fall
  • Type of snow: Light and fluffy versus heavy and wet

Variables

  • Timing of the snow is integral to the removal process. Snow that falls while the university is in session slows the entire process. Roads are always the top priority for safety purposes, followed by drive lanes in parking lots and walkways throughout the campus. Most of these removal processes are happening simultaneously.
  • Type and amount of snow greatly affect the ability of the grounds team to remove the snow. Up to 4” of snow equates to a 6 hour removal cycle. If more than 4” of snow falls, or if the snow is excessively heavy and wet, times are prolonged due to the weight of the snow.
  • Snow shovels are placed at all entrances to buildings during the winter months to provide options to building occupants should wind variables cause snow bound doors or walks.

Priority

  • Roads and access roads are continuously plowed during any snow event
  • Academic parking lots are cleared early to allow early arrivals of employees and done by 7:30 AM whenever possible to allow arrivals for 8 AM classes and business day start. Handicap parking is first in the process followed by the closest to buildings to the farthest reaches of the parking lots from the buildings.
  • Building entrance doors.
  • Walks are prioritized by Residences Halls and access from parking lots to academic buildings. Walks to and from the residences to academic buildings fall within this scope.
  • Loading docks and access roads to the loading docks are next in line.

Disability Services

There is a disability services van available for students who may have trouble getting to class. If students need transportation or other accommodations, they can visit the Disability Services site or office for the request form. The office is located Room 1150 of the Student Alumni Union (SAU).