During inclement weather, we often are asked why UW-Stevens Point doesn’t close. Here are FAQs you may find helpful.
Q: What does the university do to maintain the safety of students, faculty and staff?
A: The weather is carefully monitored by our emergency management specialist, University Police and Facility Services staff and others. In the event of inclement weather, communications are sent to students and employees encouraging them to use good judgment in deciding whether they feel they can safely travel to campus. Students and employees are also encouraged to contact their professors or supervisors if they have safety concerns regarding travel.
Q: The Stevens Point (Wausau, Marshfield, Amherst, etc.) schools are closed. Why isn’t UW-Stevens Point?
A: Local public (and private) K-12 school officials take into consideration bus transportation for young children, many of whom are only 6 or 7 years old waiting outdoors for buses. Often, buses must travel before all county and town roads are plowed. Also, because many school district buses are parked outside, they may have difficulty starting in sub-zero weather.
UW-Stevens Point generally remains open. Many of our students live on or near campus and can safely reach their classes. Those who travel are encouraged to use good judgment in determining whether they feel they can do so safely.
Q: Classes were canceled at UW-Stevens Point at Wausau and Marshfield. Why weren’t they canceled at the main campus?
A: Many students at our two-year campuses drive to the Wausau or Marshfield branch campuses, often from further distances over two-lane country roads. In Stevens Point, most students live on or near campus and can walk or drive shorter distances. Also, about 16 percent of students enrolled at our Wausau campus and 43 percent of students at our Marshfield campus are high school students and will not be in class if the K-12 schools in those communities are closed.
Q: If UW-Stevens Point doesn’t cancel classes, may faculty do so?
A: Faculty have discretion over their classes, and some offer alternatives that do not require in-person attendance. Some have canceled classes, depending on their own or their students’ travel circumstances. Students are encouraged to contact their instructors if they do not feel they make it to campus safely. Faculty members are encouraged to understand and accommodate weather-related absences.
Q: Why do employees still have to work when classes are canceled?
A: Campus offices generally remain open even when classes are canceled. Employees who do not feel they can safely make it to work, should check with their supervisors regarding attendance options. Working from home, taking paid or unpaid leave or making up lost time or other arrangements with the approval of your supervisor, are among the options. See the inclement weather policy.
Because of the nature of their work, it is not possible for some employees to work from home or to make up lost time. If the university closes, these employees would be required to take vacation time or leave without pay. By remaining open, employees have a choice about reporting to work. Some employees essential to the university’s operation – including but not limited to Police, Residential Living, Dining Services and various positions within Facility Services – are present, working to ensure the continuity of operations on campus necessary for the safety and welfare of our students.
Q: The mayor has declared a snow emergency. Why wouldn’t campus close?
A: This is less about a community emergency and more about snow removal. When a snow emergency is declared, parking is not permitted on city streets during the hours stated in the proclamation to allow the Street Department to clear streets of snow. Mayors and other municipal officials use this tool to facilitate snow removal.
Q: Where can I find the university’s inclement weather policy?
A: The policy may be found here: inclement weather policy.
Q: What are the best ways to find out if classes are canceled or the university is closed?
A: Watch your email and the UW-Stevens Point website for weather-related campus updates.