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Penn State Shares Winter Weather Cancellation Procedures

After this week proved to be the first snowfall of the winter season in State College, Penn State reminded students and faculty what it will do when normal operations are disrupted due to inclement weather.

During and after a winter storm, individuals are encouraged to avoid traveling to campus, if possible. If you must come to campus, it’s important to beware of ice and snow that may be present.


If classes are canceled due to inclement weather, they can’t be moved to synchronous remote meetings, as faculty and students may not have access to technology and other resources.

The following actions apply during a disruption of normal campus operations:

  • In-person: Instructors can choose to cancel class or offer content asynchronously. This could look like recording a lecture for students to watch at another time or asking students to complete a reading. The class may not meet remotely synchronously except when extenuating circumstances exist.
  • Hybrid: If the class is scheduled to meet in person on the day of the change in normal operations, then the content can be offered asynchronously or the class can be canceled. Otherwise, asynchronous content can be offered as planned.
  • Web: Classes will continue as planned with no changes. 


Classes or activities that are scheduled to begin at or after the announced resumption time will be held as scheduled unless specific guidance is given. For example, if there’s a two-hour delay until 10 a.m., classes beginning at 10 a.m. or later will continue as planned. Classes scheduled to begin before 10 a.m will be subject to the provisions outlined in the “classes” section above.

Any in-person classes or activities scheduled to begin during the delay are canceled. Classes or activities beginning at or after the announced time for resuming campus operations will be held as originally scheduled.

Early Dismissals

The university may announce an early dismissal for those already on campus during their normal, day-to-day business and classes. To successfully operate an orderly dismissal, it will be announced as early as possible via PSUAlert.

Students will be released first, and faculty and staff will be released 30-45 minutes after.

EarIy dismissals are timed to happen on the hour or 30 minutes past the hour to help with traffic and provide students an opportunity to exit common areas and buildings before they close.

Penn State will attempt to communicate weather information in case of a fast-moving storm so that people on campus can make reasonable choices. During a quick storm, the best option may be to remain on campus, while others may have reasons they must leave.

All things considered, Penn State never fully closes.

There are still thousands of students that need to be fed, research projects that need to be monitored, and livestock that need to be fed, watered, and sheltered. University Police and other emergency services will still remain in operation regardless of the weather.

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About the Author

Brady Miller

Brady is a senior public relations major who originates from the cornfields of Schuylkill County, PA. He spends most of his time watching the Philadelphia Phillies blow leads and the New England Patriots struggle to score points. When not watching sports, Brady is most likely "studying" or with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @_bMiLL_32 to see mostly retweets of whatever is going through Marlon Humphrey's head, or you can email him at [email protected].

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