What should students do when snowfall makes it difficult or dangerous to commute to class?
Greta Kooy, News Editor
Illustration by Jackie Duck
It doesn’t snow in Metro Vancouver often, but when it does it sure causes a scene. The unexpected changes leave people all over the Lower Mainland scrambling to make last-minute transportation arrangements, and for students enrolled in classes at a commuter campus like Capilano University, making the trek can be difficult or downright dangerous.
CapU had its first snow day of the year on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Other students, especially those with long commutes across the Lower Mainland, were likely relieved too. Many universities in the Metro Vancouver area closed, including BCIT, Kwantlen Polytechnic, SFU, UBC and Vancouver Community College.
The snow first hit overnight on Tuesday and took the city by surprise, leaving many businesses, schools and universities unable to operate for the day despite the snowfall becoming a regular occurence in the past two years. <i>Narcity<i> reported that Jan. 12 had “the most snow and coldest weather the city has seen in over 10 years.”
According to CapU’s Emergency University Closure Policy, issued in 1998, “the University will remain open during normal scheduled operations unless climatic conditions or other conditions pose a hazard to public safety or adversely affects the University’s ability to continue to offer services.” In the case of extreme weather conditions, a risk assessment is conducted in order to determine whether or not the University should stay open.
In either case, students are responsible for knowing the school’s status.
In the event of extreme weather, or any other scenario that could cause classes to be cancelled, the best place to check is the University’s homepage online, which will have the most up-to-date information and regular updates released throughout the day. Unless otherwise stated on their website, CapU is open for business. Another valuable place to check for up-to-date information is on Twitter through the handle @CapilanoU.
Morning closure announcements are generally made before 6:30 am, with continued follow-ups throughout the day. Notifications about campus closures can also be received through push notifications on the CapUSafe app.
The University advises students, staff and faculty to keep track of their local weather conditions via radio and the news, and to stay up to date on relevant TransLink information and road reports.
Regardless of what CapU’s website says, always check your student email or Moodle pages to make sure that class is, in fact, still scheduled.