All Ohio State campuses are set to be closed Monday to various degrees because of “extreme cold conditions” and “extreme temperatures.”
An OSU athletics human resources director said in an email OSU has made the decision to close the main campus based on the severe temperatures and weather expected. The Lantern obtained a copy of the email, which was received by a student involved in the athletic department at about 8:20 p.m.
As of Sunday evening, there was a predicted high of 11 degrees and a 20 percent chance of snow in Columbus for Monday, according to The Weather Channel.
The OSU Twitter account, @OhioState, tweeted at about 9:30 p.m. that the Columbus campus would be closed Monday, but some dining halls and health services would be open. OSU Emergency Management also sent an email with similar information.
It is the first time OSU’s main campus has canceled classes because of weather conditions since February 2011.
According to a university notice sent to The Lantern by OSU spokesman Gary Lewis, the university is set to be closed because “the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is of the utmost importance.” “The closing of the Columbus campus is to minimize the amount of time faculty, staff and students are outside because extremely low temperatures and wind chill can cause frostbite and hypothermia. The university strongly urges all faculty, staff and students to take proactive measures to protect themselves and others from the cold, including not going outside unless it is absolutely necessary,” the statement said.
All recreational sports facilities, including the RPAC, Jesse Owens North and Jesse Owens South are set to be closed Monday, as well as the Ohio Union, Younkin Success Center and Counseling and Consultation Service.
Sloopy’s Diner and Traditions dining services will have limited service.
Determinations about university operations on Tuesday will be made and communicated Monday, according to the official university response.
The closures of the OSU Newark, Mansfield, Marion, Lima and ATI Wooster campuses were announced on the OSU Emergency Management Twitter account, @OSU_EMFP, Sunday afternoon.
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and ATI Wooster campuses are closed from 6 a.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Tuesday, though “all essential personnel are to report as scheduled,” according to OSU Emergency Management. The OSU-Newark and Central Ohio Technical College campuses will be closed from Monday 6 a.m. until Tuesday 6 a.m. as well, but “essential personnel” are expected to report to work at those campuses as well.
Wooster’s forecast predicted a high of 18 degrees and a 40 percent chance of snow for Monday as of Sunday evening, while Newark’s forecast predicted a high of 17 degrees and a 20 percent chance of snow, according to The Weather Channel.
Classes at OSU-Mansfield and North Central State are canceled Monday, though “campus will be open for employees to report to work,” the Twitter account said. According to the OSU Emergency Management website, classes at the OSU-Lima campus are canceled Monday as well, though “essential personnel” are expected to report to work.
Temperatures in Mansfield for Monday were predicted to hit a high of 13 degrees with a 30 percent chance of snow as of Sunday evening, while in Lima, temperatures were predicted to hit a high of 1 degree and 30 percent chance of snow, according to The Weather Channel.
At the OSU-Marion campus, classes are canceled. According to The Weather Channel, the temperature is set to hit a high of 6 degrees and there was a 30 percent chance of snow as of Sunday evening.
Administration and Planning spokeswoman Lindsay Komlanc said in an email Friday OSU uses “flexible” guidelines when deciding whether to close.
“There is no set policy on what it takes to close the university. This allows for flexibility in decision making. Variables that are considered include whether roads, parking lots and sidewalks are clear, whether buildings are and can be kept warm, and whether the weather is dangerous,” Komlanc said.
She said according to OSU policy, the president or “authorized designee” is expected to make the decision to cancel classes by 5 a.m. for day classes, and added that classes will typically resume the next day unless students, faculty and staff are otherwise notified.
Monday is the ninth time OSU has closed since 1978. Komlanc said evening classes were canceled in February 2011 because of snow most recently. The most recent cancellation in January was in January 2009 because of snow, Komlanc said.
Correction: Jan. 6, 2014
A previous version of this article stated that the most recent cancellation in January was Jan. 19, 1994, when in fact, it was in January 2009.