This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.
Approving Authority: President
Original Approval Date: November 18, 2019
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: N/A
Administrative Responsibility: University Secretariat
Parent Policy: 7.6 Policy on University Closing Due to Severe Weather
The procedures that follow provide guidelines and expectations for University closures due to severe weather. They outline communication and contingency plans for classes, meetings or other events, and exam cancellations.
The decision to close the University or individual campuses and locations involves several people with main priority being the safety of students and employees. These decisions are influenced by a number of factors including but not limited to: the current and forecasted local weather conditions, the condition of the campus roads and walkways, the state of the city roads and streets, local school closures, and the impact of weather on public transit scheduling. The decision to close will be made by the individuals specified in 7.6 Policy on University Closing Due to Severe Weather under section 4.02.
Communications, Public Affairs, and Marketing (CPAM) will communicate the University’s decision based on established protocol maintained by CPAM. A campus closing notice will be posted on the University’s external website and there will be an automated message on the University’s main telephone numbers by 6:30 a.m. for a morning closing, by 10:00 a.m. for an afternoon closing, and by 4:00 p.m. for an evening closing.
3.1 The office of the Senior Executive Officer or designate will notify campus partners, Conestoga College, and the Laurier Brantford YMCA whenever the Brantford campus closes. Campus partners are responsible for following their own policies regarding the closure of buildings which they own or operate.
3.2 The senior Laurier employee at the Yellowknife office will notify VP Research regarding closure.
4.1.1 Faculty members and academic departments do not have the authority to make exceptions. In addition to all classes being cancelled including those delivered online, deadlines for assignments and other submissions are postponed until the same hour on the next business day on which classes resume.
4.1.2 An instructor may elect to reschedule a cancelled class. The instructor should consult with the class, where practical, and with Enrolment Services to find available dates, rooms and times. But ultimately, an instructor has the authority to reschedule the cancelled class on the next day on which classes are not scheduled (normally Saturday) at the same time as the cancelled class. Instructors should notify students as soon as possible regarding rescheduled classes through MyLS and email.
4.1.3 As per Senate approved guidelines, should the University close on any of the last five days of regularly scheduled classes, cancelled classes may be rescheduled in the two study days occurring before the examination period. In such a case, the examination period would not be altered. Any day the University is closed during the last five days of regularly scheduled classes will be considered a study day.
4.2.1 All academic activity is cancelled. Employer information sessions and co-op interviews to be held on campus are considered scheduled events and as such will not be held should the University close. The Co-op Office will make every attempt to reschedule all activity and will communicate directly to students via their Laurier email account. In the case where students have an off-campus field practicum or community service learning commitment, students should consult with their respective site supervisor.
4.2.2 When the University is closed all athletic programming is cancelled, except for programming at the Laurier Brantford YMCA.
4.3.1 Faculty members and academic departments do not have the authority to make exceptions. Final examinations will be rescheduled by Enrolment Services and communicated directly to students and faculty through email, MyLS, and the Laurier website. Generally final examinations will be rescheduled to the next available date at the times and locations originally designated. Should such not be possible, alternative scheduling will be implemented.
4.3.2 The rescheduling of mid-term examinations, graduate comprehensive exams and thesis defences will be determined by the instructor and communicated to students as soon as possible through MyLS and email.
5.1 When Laurier does not close in severe weather, the University will strive to ensure the safety and accessibility of the campus. Entranceways to all buildings and all accessibility paths will be cleared, on a priority basis, by 8 a.m. Individual circumstances vary widely and, when Laurier remains open in severe weather, those who judge that it may be unsafe to come to campus should discuss alternate study arrangements with their instructor. Employees are advised to consult the appropriate employee handbook or collective agreement for additional information.
5.2 Faculty (instructors) who are not able to reach the campus to conduct their classes should inform their students as soon as possible through MyLS, where appropriate, and/or email. If a student is unable to write an exam or complete graded coursework due to severe weather, the student may request accommodation and such should be initiated through the petition process.
5.3 Teaching assistants who are not able to reach the campus for their scheduled work must notify their course instructor and endeavour, where possible, to find a suitable replacement and determine how to make up missed hours.
6.1 There may be occasions when weather conditions are such that Laurier stays open, but it is deemed appropriate to cancel classes as well as other scheduled meetings with students (laboratories, tutorials, tests, exams, etc.).
6.2 A decision to remain open but cancel classes and/or final examinations will be made by the Provost & VP Academic, in consultation with the President and AVP, Enrolment Services & Registrar. Such a decision will specify whether the class cancellation and/or final examination is "immediate" or at a stated hour and will be conveyed to the University community internally by email and the University intranet, and externally by the Laurier website, and social media. Unless otherwise specified, the decision to cancel classes continues from that hour until 7:00 a.m. the next day.
6.3 Any scheduled final examinations, including online, that are cancelled will generally be rescheduled by Enrolment Services to the next available date at the times and locations originally designated. Should such not be possible, alternative scheduling will be implemented. Deadlines for assignments and other submissions are postponed until the same hour on the next business day on which classes resume.
6.4 An instructor may elect to reschedule a cancelled class. The instructor should consult with the class, where practical, and with Enrolment Services to find available dates, rooms and times. But ultimately, an instructor has the authority to reschedule the cancelled class on the next day on which classes are not scheduled (normally Saturday) at the same time as the missed class. When a cancellation occurs on any of the last five days of regularly scheduled classes, they may be rescheduled in the two study days occurring before the examination period. In such a case, the examination period would not be altered. Instructors should notify students as soon as possible regarding rescheduled classes.
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