Holding Classes in Weather Emergencies


Management of Emergencies

The president, with the Senior Emergency Response Group (SERG), which is comprised of representatives from the offices of the dean of the faculty, dean of students, vice president of finance and administration, security, communications, facility services and dining services, develops and coordinates the College’s response to emergencies. All faculty members should be familiar with the policies and procedures regarding campus emergencies, including weather emergencies, which are described in detail on the following websites: General information:

Weather emergencies, Emergency announcements, fire, crimes or vehicular accidents: bates.edu/conference/emergency-procedures/

General emergency procedures:  bates.edu/security/emergency-information/

CLASSES. If the College is in session when an emergency is declared, the operating assumption is that classes continue to be held. The announcement would be:

“Due to inclement weather, Bates College offices are closed. Only personnel designated in advance as essential should report to work. Dining Services will be available. Classes will be held unless specifically canceled by the instructor. Students should check their email and Lyceum to determine if individual classes have been canceled by the instructor.”

On rare occasions, the SERG may declare an emergency so severe that classes are canceled. The announcement would be:

“Due to inclement weather, Bates College is closed. Only personnel designated in advance as essential should report to work. Dining Services will be available. Classes are canceled.”

These announcements are made through a Blackboard Connect to the College community, on the website if it is operating, and on local radio and television stations.

Even if classes are not canceled, individual instructors whose travel to the campus would be hazardous, or who, for other reasons, are unable to meet their classes, may decide to cancel their classes and reschedule them at a later date. Instructors who cancel classes must, to the best of their ability, inform their students. An instructor may notify students through email class list-serves or via Lyceum, the learning management system. It should be noted, however, that Lyceum is not interfaced with the College’s email system. Thus informing students via Lyceum lists requires that students log into Lyceum to check for messages. The instructor also should inform the appropriate academic administrative assistant (AAA) if that staff member is available on campus. If the AAA is unavailable and the instructor is unable to communicate with the students, the instructor should telephone Matthew R. Auer, dean of the faculty, at 786-6066.

All instructors are advised to include on their course syllabi information on how class meeting cancellations are communicated to students (e.g., via email class lists or Lyceum), with instructions for students on how to check for the information. Instructors who cancel a class should make up the class at a later date; they should reschedule during regular academic class meeting times using the campus calendar and web request form to schedule an appropriate room and time.

DISRUPTED COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS. In the event that electricity, Web, and/or phone services are disrupted, the security office, or a designated alternate site, is the College’s central communication center. An emergency telephone information number, 786-6111 is provided and published in College publications (Bates Directory and Bates Student Handbook). This number can be used to obtain current information.