Essential staff still work on snow days, a number of buildings remain open

Kate Murphy

Snow days are an exciting time to sleep in, relax or catch up on homework, but they can leave students questioning, ‘What is open?’

           Director of Residence Services Betsy Joseph said in an e-mail that on days the university is closed because of snow, there are still hall staff members on duty. The residence hall directors and residence assistants are responding to issues in the halls, having meetings with students and covering all other responsibilities.


            Many members of the housekeeping staff who can travel to work safely will also be on campus to empty trash, shovel entrances to the halls and clean bathrooms and public areas. Area desk staff and security are also required to be on duty during cancellations.

            Gregg Floyd, vice president of finance and administration, said in an e-mail he sent on Nov. 15 to all students, faculty and staff that staff members work hard to keep campus sidewalks, roads and parking lots clear for student convenience. When the university is closed because of weather, offices are closed and some services are unavailable. Even in that situation, critical staff members must report to work so that operations needing 24-hour attention are maintained, including essential services for students living in the residence halls.

           Dining Services in residence halls such as Eastway, Tri-Towers and Prentice are still open during regular hours along with other dining options in the Student Center. Eateries in closed buildings are not open, such as the snack shop in Michael Schwartz Center or Jazzman’s in Oscar Ritchie Hall.

Tia Marie Protopapa, marketing manager of Dining Services, said in an e-mail that all dining associates are required to work on these days, including students, who make up 85 percent of staff.  Dining Services monitors associate turnout to ensure operations run smoothly and the associates are cross-trained to work in various units for situations where more staff is needed. These students are essential to the daily performance of Dining Services, especially on snow days.

“Since this is a home to over 6,000 students, we need to operate as normally as possible,” Joseph said. “Even if there is a weather related university closure.”

Contact Kate Murphy at [email protected].