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How App State responds to winter weather storms

The+new+%E2%80%98125th+Anniversary%E2%80%99+sign+sits+on+top+of+the+App+State+welcome+sign+Jan.+15%2C+2024.+App+State+announced+class+operations+would+go+online+after+3+p.m.+on+Jan.+16+and+would+be+fully+online+on+the+17th+as+well.+
Ashton Woodruff
The new ‘125th Anniversary’ sign sits on top of the App State welcome sign Jan. 15, 2024. App State announced class operations would go online after 3 p.m. on Jan. 16 and would be fully online on the 17th as well.

The Spring 2024 semester started with cold feet, as students and staff woke up to numerous emails and weather alerts informing them that their first day of classes would not be what they expected. While some professors chose to still hold classes in person, App State closed in-person classes Wednesday and Friday of the first week of classes. 

With the severity of these adverse weather conditions at the start of the spring semester, understanding exactly what goes into the process of deciding whether or not App State closes classes during these times can help students and staff act with proper caution. 

To begin deciding how to respond to adverse weather conditions, App State has three different conditions to choose from depending on the severity of the situation.

Construction at Wey Hall covered in the first week of class snowfall Jan. 20, 2024. Renovations started in January 2023 and will be a year-and-a-half project. (Ashton Woodruff)

Condition 1, referred to as “Reduced Operations,” involves mandatory operations such as law enforcement and student support continuing to operate as normal, while some non-mandatory operations are scaled back until the condition is lifted.

Condition 2, referred to as “Suspended Operations,” is a more extensive version of the first, with all non-mandatory operations being suspended completely.

Condition 3, referred to as “Closure,” involves the complete closure of all mandatory facilities over a period of time depending on the circumstances. 

According to the university page for adverse weather, “campus chancellors may not declare Condition 3 at the time of an adverse weather event,” which is why the snowy weather during the first week of classes only resulted in Condition 2.

Rather, if an event fulfills the Condition 3 criteria, the university can enact Condition 2 protocol. Then the university can work with the UNC General Administration to determine if Condition 3’s paid leave protocol should be retroactively applied.

App State decides which condition to enact during specific weather conditions based on certain standards.

For Condition 1, the weather must have “significant potential to or is already negatively impacting local area commuting, important campus services, or the efficient functioning of campus buildings and grounds,” according to the university policy manual entry on adverse weather and emergency closing

The same webpage also denotes that Condition 2 will only go into effect if “safety risks or logistical challenges are more severe and there is a substantial interest to have a relatively limited number of individuals travel to or remain at the University.” National Weather Service alerts are a key piece of information in the decision-making process for this condition.

Wey Hall construction activity is suspended due to the snowfall and icy streets Jan. 20, 2024. Wey Hall is set to be fully complete by the summer of 2025. (Ashton Woodruff)
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About the Contributors
Thomas Turner
Thomas Turner, Reporter
Thomas Turner (He/Him/His) is a 19 year old junior at App State, majoring in journalism with a minor in English. This is his second semester working with The Appalachian.
Ashton Woodruff
Ashton Woodruff, Photo Editor
Ashton Woodruff (she/her) is a junior IDS Criminal Justice/Photojournalism major, and a Social Work minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
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