How Do We Get a Snow Day?

Impending snow and lackluster driving conditions forced the University of New Haven to cancel classes on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Though the text and email notifying the campus community didn’t arrive until 5:30 that morning, one student was certain there would be a snow day.  

“West Haven and Notre Dame were already closed earlier Monday evening, so it was just a matter of time before University of New Haven closed too,” said Stacey Huth, a senior theater major.  

Since other schools were closed that early, why wasn’t New Haven as well?  Associate vice president of the Department of Public Safety and Administrative Services, Ronald Quagliani, had the answer. He said that by working with various weather providers, including the CT Department of Emergency Services and local and regional university partners, Quagliani and his team are able to identify potential inclement weather days that might affect operations.  They then analyze the severity and timing of the storm to determine whether a delay, early release or cancellation is necessary.

As far as looking to other schools, it isn’t always certain that a snow day in one of the local West Haven schools will determine the outlook for the university. This is because the West Haven public schools rely more heavily on transportation.

“We communicate with other colleges and universities in the area and most of the time are aligned, but not always,” says Quagliani. “K-12 school decisions rely heavily on when school buses can be readied to operate and safety at the bus stops for younger children.”

This means that transportation might be alright for adults and those of the campus community, but not for big buses and those younger children that walk to school.  

In 2013, the University was closed for four consecutive days, with 35 inches of snowfall, the longest Quagliani has seen in his time working here, and he says he could “go without another one of those.”

As for the next snow day? Expect an alert any time before six in the morning.  A weather communication is sent out prior to that time for closure or delay, and at least two hours prior to early dismissal, and can be found through MyCharger, social media, the University of New Haven website, and the emergency notification email and text system.