What to know when we get snow


Snow blankets central campus on Jan. 6, 2015. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

It's almost time to break out the ice scrapers and snow shovels. Here's what employees should keep in mind when winter weather hits.

Classes aren't canceled often

If CyRide is running and streets/sidewalks are passable, class likely will remain in session. The bar for calling off classes is set high because it's disruptive. There are no makeup days built into the calendar. Plus, most students live within walking distance of either campus or a bus stop.

Cancelling classes doesn't automatically close the university

Even if classes are called off, Iowa State offices usually will stay open and employees should plan to work their normal schedules. If you can't get to work safely, contact your supervisor and request to either make up missed time or take vacation or leave without pay. Put safety first. Supervisors should accommodate employees who can't make it to work.

On rare occasions, the university closes

When this happens, only employees involved in essential operations -- for example, law enforcement, utilities, food service, animal care and, of course, snow removal -- need to report to work. Employees already at work may leave. Staff who aren't sure if they are supposed to work when the university closes should contact their supervisor. Faculty and professional and scientific staff whose work responsibilities aren't based on a specific schedule should adjust as needed in consultation with unit leaders. All other employees are expected to either make up the missed time or take vacation or leave without pay.

How will I know about cancellations or closings?

Check out local media or the Iowa State homepage, Twitter and Facebook accounts. You can also call the IT Solution Center at 294-4000.

Where can I park?

Campus services works to keep parking lots, sidewalks and roads clear during winter storms. If accumulation is heavy, the priority is first on roads, then parking lots, sidewalks and building entrances (in that order). Don't park in your usual lot if it's not cleared. Instead, park in one of the three lots designated for general use during winter weather, where all ISU parking permits will be honored:

  • Iowa State Center, southwest corner (lots A3, A4, B5 and B6)
  • North of Molecular Biology (lots 29 and 30)
  • North of General Services Building (lot 41)

Consider using CyRide when road conditions are poor. Free shuttles run to campus from the Iowa State Center lots every 5 to 10 minutes.