Saint Mary's is open
The university is operating as usual.
Please monitor this website, the SMU Safe app (details below), social media and the closure information hotlines for announcements about closures or delayed openings due to challenging weather conditions or other unanticipated events.
If this website is unavailable, please refer to social media and the information hotlines for updates.
These government sites offer information and resources in the event of major storms and other emergencies.
- Nova Scotia Government Emergency alerts and information
- Nova Scotia Government emergency kit checklist
- Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office Facebook page
- 211 - Nova Scotia Emergency & Disaster Information
Other emergency resources
Related information channels
- SMUfit X/Twitter channel
Updates about events, cancellations, open status of the Homburg Centre, etc.
- SMUfit closure information number: 902-420-5462
- Patrick Power Library X/Twitter channel
Updates about events, updated hours, etc.
- SMU Alumni X/Twitter channel
Updates about local, national and international Alumni events, etc.
More about closure and delayed openings
Saint Mary's University monitors weather conditions closely when threatening conditions are forecast. We initiate specific procedures to assess the weather's potential impact on the university's operations. 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, the university will also follow it in the event of any other conditions, such as utility failure.
Factors in the decision-making process include:
- A 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 a safe condition
- The 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, social media, and phone lines (see above). We aim to communicate decisions by 6 a.m. for daytime operations and by 3 p.m. 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, 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.
Sometimes the university will announce it is closing early. No new classes, labs or events will start after the announced closing time. If a class began before the announced closing time it may continue for a short while past that time at the professor's discretion. If this presents a difficulty for a student, they should discuss it with their professor.
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. Delayed opening means there will be no classes, labs, exams or appointments before reopening. The regular schedule resumes after re-opening.
Students unsure about specific course-related expectations should contact their professors directly for guidance.
During unscheduled closures or cancellations:
- Employees who were to be working from campus that day are not required to shift to hybrid work for the day.
- Employees who were to be working Hybrid Flex or Home Flex that day are to continue their workday unless other arrangements have been discussed with their manager (e.g. taking a vacation day).
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.
Staff members should refer to their supervisors for guidance.