UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- In years past, weather events caused a delay in the start of activities and classes at University Park campus. When a delay is announced at University Park, employees who perform nonessential services are to report at the announced time. Classes and activities that begin before the announced time are canceled.
Those classes or activities beginning at or after the announced delay time will be held as originally scheduled. For example, a two-hour delay until 10 a.m. due to snow or ice would mean that all classes that begin before 10 a.m. are canceled and will not be held. Classes beginning at 10 a.m. or after, will continue on their regular schedule.
Inclement weather is likely any time now through March. When it does strike, the Penn State community should check WPSU-FM and Penn State Live -- the official sources for weather-related delay or cancellation advisories at Penn State's University Park campus. In addition, advisories will be sent directly to cell phones via PSUTXT.
To subscribe, visit http://live.psu.edu/psutxt online. Once there, faculty, staff and students should click on the link to login via WebAccess. Existing users then can link their PSUTXT accounts to their Penn State access account ID, and new users in the can use the form to create a new account.
Members of the community who do not have a Penn State access account can use the public form at http://live.psu.edu/psutxt to login or create a new account.
Operating status at Penn State Altoona and Penn State DuBois also will be aired on WPSU, which broadcasts in those regions. All other campus locations should identify their preferred method of communication before inclement weather strikes.
WPSU, which airs 24-hour programming, can be heard at 91.5 FM in State College, Bellefonte, Lock Haven and surrounding areas, and 90.1 FM in northern Pennsylvania counties. The station also is at http://wpsu.org/ online; a complete list of station frequencies can be found at http://wpsu.org/about/coverage.html on the Web. Closings are listed at http://wpsu.org/closings.htm online.
When notified, WPSU will begin its live broadcasting earlier than the usual start time of 5 a.m., and will interrupt regularly scheduled programming to give periodic updates throughout the day or night.
In addition to WPSU, information also will be issued promptly and prominently online at Penn State Live -- http://live.psu.edu -- assuming that power and Internet connectivity are not adversely affected by the weather.
PSUTXT is just one of the tools used to communicate in an emergency. For more information about Penn State's emergency management, visit http://www.emergencymanagement.psu.edu/ online.
With nearly 14,000 students on campus that require meals and warm lodging, livestock that must be fed, watered and sheltered, and critical research projects that require constant attention, the University Park campus never really closes.
Because of this, it is critical that Penn State effectively maintain services that affect safety and health when snow blankets the area. University Police and other emergency services remain operational around the clock regardless of the weather, as do guest services at both The Nittany Lion Inn and The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.
There are several factors that go into the decision to delay or cancel classes. In addition to road conditions, the University must concern itself with the condition of its parking lots, roadways and walkways in making decisions about cancellations and delays.
Employees in essential services and operations are expected to report for work in most circumstances, and should contact their supervisor -- before severe winter weather strikes -- with any questions they may have about their status.
All employees are encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety. In addition, people who are concerned about commuting to or from campus because of severe weather can take advantage of discounted hotel rooms at The Nittany Lion Inn and The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. Call the hotels to check availability and whether or not the discount is available whenever severe weather and dangerous driving conditions exist or are anticipated.
Faculty and staff should use their own best judgment when considering traveling to campus or the need to leave work early during times of inclement weather. Staff may charge their absence to vacation time when weather conditions cause a concern for personal safety. As usual, supervisors should make every effort to accommodate employees who wish to leave work early because of the weather.
Faculty and staff also should review "Handling Weather Day Absences" (Human Resources Guideline 10) on the Web at http://guru.psu.edu/policies/OHR/hrg10.html for specific information on how time missed for weather situations is handled.