Alert Information

Saint Mary's is operating as a virtual university

Please see more information on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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More about closure and delayed openings

Saint Mary's University monitors weather conditions closely when threatening conditions are forecast. We initiate the specific procedures laid out in the 5-1002_Policy on Unscheduled Closure and/or Cancellation of Classes to assess what impact the weather might have on the operations of the university. We then determine whether it is necessary to close or delay opening.

(Although the policy has been developed primarily for closings due to hazardous weather conditions, it will also be followed in the event of any other conditions that require the closing or partial closing of the university such as utilities failure.)

Factors in the decision-making process include:

  • State of emergency or impending state of emergency
  • Weather conditions (current and forecasted)
  • Road conditions
  • Availability of public transport
  • Ability to access and use the campus safely
  • Ability to maintain campus roadways, parking lots, paths, stairs and building entrances in safe condition
  • Ability of emergency services to access the campus
  • Disadvantages of sending individuals back into the weather once they have arrived on campus
  • Anticipation that conditions will worsen or persist such that public transportation may not operate or roads may be closed as a result of storm conditions, which will make travel home unusually difficult or hazardous

All weather-related decisions prioritize student, faculty and staff safety and consider the effect closure would have on academic work and the operations of the university in general.

We relay decisions as quickly and simply as possible on the website, through social media and on our phone lines (see above). Our goal is to communicate decisions by 6 AM for daytime operations and by 3 PM for evening operations.

If there is no messaging on the website or social media related to closure or delayed opening, assume Saint Mary’s is open.

Sometimes, very challenging conditions may compromise our ability to update the website and/or phone lines. Under extreme circumstances (e.g. widespread power outages, impassable roads etc.) check our social media channels (see above) for updates.

What “closed” means

When the university is closed for the day it means that there will be no classes, labs, exams or appointments. The library will also be closed. Residence-related services, security and other essential services continue. The Homburg Centre updates its members on its status through its own social channels (see above).

Unless otherwise indicated, closure is for the day. Normal operations are expected to resume the next day. In case of ongoing bad weather, Saint Mary’s will update the community about closure as early as possible.

What “delayed opening” means

In some cases, access to campus is expected to improve throughout the day. In those cases, the university will delay opening until a specific time, as indicated in our public messages.

Sometimes, it’s up to you to decide

Saint Mary's does not want anyone risking their physical well-being in order to get to campus during challenging weather. If the university remains open, but specific weather-related conditions prevent some students from attending class or exams, those students should contact their professors directly for guidance.

Faculty and staff members should refer to 5-1002_Policy on Unscheduled Closure and/or Cancellation of Classes for information.

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