University policy for weather-related cancellations and closings

Saturday January 10, 2015Administrator

University policy on extraordinary weather requires that normal operations continue to the extent possible. Essential college services (i.e.: Facilities Services, University Services, Residence Life, Campus Life, Environmental Health and Safety, University Police, and Food and Health Services) must be maintained in spite of severe weather. University employees working in these areas should remain on duty or report to work to avoid interruption of these critical services, unless directed to do otherwise by their supervisors.

If classes are cancelled before the beginning of the instructional day, announcements will be made on the following radio and TV stations:

Dunkirk: WDOE, 96KIX

Jamestown: WJTN, SE93, WHUG, WKSN

Buffalo (radio): WBEN, WBLK, WTSS, WJYE, WYRK, WKSE, WBFO

Buffalo (TV): WGRZ, WIVB, WKBW, Time Warner News

Although only the Governor can "close" the University, the campus President has the authority to take the following actions:

1. Cancel classes – When this decision has been made, absences of non-instructional employees must be charged against compensatory time, vacation accruals, or personal leave. Such absences should first be charged by classified employees against personal leave. Professionals, librarians, and management confidential employees should first charge such absences against holiday compensatory time (if accrued) and then vacation.

2. Excuse reasonable tardiness – Without charge to leave credits when extraordinary situations or weather conditions affect the arrival time of employees.

3. Authorize early departure – With appropriate charges to leave accruals or payroll adjustment, when the situation warrants it or weather conditions could make transportation dangerous.

4. Request authorization to direct early departure – Direct the early departure of employees without charge to leave accruals when, in the President's opinion, weather conditions are so severe as to make return home travel so dangerous that the continuation of employees on the job might endanger their health or safety.

5. Excess of one full day – Requests New York State to authorize the restitution of accruals used in conjunction with extraordinary weather conditions so extreme as to have created a natural disaster situation affecting the ability of large numbers of employees over a wide geographic area to report to work.

IMPLEMENTATION

1. The Chief of University Police is responsible for monitoring weather report conditions. The Chief of University Police may consult with the Weather Bureau, state, local and county police, and the University’s Director of Facilities Services to monitor the effect of storm conditions on transportation to and from the campus.

2. The Chief of University Police will advise the President if reports indicate that weather conditions will potentially disrupt transportation and thus warrant administrative action.

3. The decision of the President under these circumstances may be one or some combination of the options already discussed.

4. Communication of the President’s decision to the university community will be as follows:

a. When cancellation of classes has been declared, the President will notify the Director of Marketing and Communications to facilitate announcements via the campus' emergency messaging channels (NY Alert, listserv email, website, etc.) and on radio and TV stations in Dunkirk, Fredonia, Buffalo, and Jamestown.

b. If classes are cancelled before the beginning of the instructional day, announcements will be made on the following radio and TV stations:

Dunkirk: WDOE, 96KIX
Jamestown: WJTN, SE93, WHUG, WKSN
Buffalo (radio): WBEN, WTSS, WJYE, WYRK, WKSE, WBFO
Buffalo (TV): WGRZ, WIVB, WKBW, Time Warner News

c. If classes are cancelled after the beginning of the instructional day, the announcement will be communicated to Directors and Departmental Chairpersons by the appropriate Vice President, and announcements will be made over the radio stations mentioned.

d. If the President concludes that prevailing weather conditions justify the excuse of reasonable tardiness, employees will be notified by the Department of Human Resources.

e. If the President directs early departure, the President will advise the Vice Presidents and the Director of Human Resources. The Vice Presidents will notify supervisory personnel in their areas to begin directing employees not required for essential services to leave work. Employees should not leave their work locations until directed to do so by their immediate supervisors.

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Apology for Malfunctioning Emergency Notification System

Friday August 21, 2015Michael Barone

Dear Fredonia Community Members, I am sorry for the annoyance and alarm caused Thursday afternoon and evening by the malfunctioning of the campus emergency mass notification system. The Simplex system was installed in 2011 to provide essential communication in the case of an emergency. If there were a dangerous natural event (such as a tornado) or a criminal event (such as an active shooter), the system would be used to ensure safety. The alarm you heard yesterday would sound for a few seconds to get attention, followed by a voice message about the emergency and the specific steps people should take to be safe. It is loud enough that those who live near the campus would also be alerted about a danger in the area. Fortunately, we have never yet had to use this system, but knowing we have this capability is an important part of our emergency preparedness. This kind of malfunction—with the siren sounding continuously—has never occurred before, and finding a way to turn off the siren took a while, as you know if you and your family members were awakened by the sound and wondered when it would end. A team of experts from the campus and the manufacturer are working today to make sure this does not happen again. The Fredonia community is a good neighbor to the campus, and I am committed to having us be a good neighbor as well. Virginia Horvath President