Wingate’s Winter Weather Protocol prepared in case of another winter storm

Mariah Anderson, Staff Writer

The groundhog has spoken. We have seen his shadow and now we will have six more weeks of winter. With this being said it gives us the opportunity for more winter weather and for Wingate University to put its winter weather protocol to the test.

Many students, parents, and faculty often wonder what the winter weather protocol is for Wingate  and how they make their calls as to what remains open and what temporarily closes. Students often wonder how the university determines cancellations, dining hall hours, and weather to keep the shuttles to hilltop hall running or not.

In Wingate University’s employee handbook, it states that, “The University will follow the applicable public school system’s policy of cancellation on the first day of an inclement weather event for the county where the University is operating. For subsequent days, the University will issue instructions on how the event will be handled.”

To reiterate what the handbook says, Wingate University follows the Union County Public School system for the first day of inclement weather and after the first day it is at the discretion of the university. All changes and updates that are made for the university during the winter weather is sent to facility and students through email by Kristen Johnson Yost, who is the University’s director of marketing and communication.

Yost also said the information is available through “the university website, social media accounts, area television, and radio stations.” With the many forms of communication it would be difficult to miss the news.

With recent snow debacle that we had sophomore, Cameron Smetak states, “I think we should have been notified a couple hours earlier but other than that I think the university made everything as safe as possible for us.”  

Another concern for many students is how the Hilltop Hall, off campus residence hall, campus shuttle will get back and forth to campus. Yost said, “Campus safety kept the shuttle to Hilltop Hall running to the dining hall as long as it was safe to do so, [with the help of] our campus services staff who worked to help keep the roads, sidewalks, and steps as clear as possible for the last storm.”

This plan will remain the same for any future storms. Yost was very clear on the safety of the students and shuttle drivers being the university’s biggest concern when transporting the students from HillTop Hall to Campus.

Lastly, students often question what the protocol is for the dining hall, Subway, and the Klondike. Yost said, “Dining decisions were made by David Penney, General Manager of Aramark at Wingate.” During the previous winter storm, Subway was closed, the Klondike was limited to certain hours, and the dining hall operated on a normal schedule. Many students ,like Smetak, were “bummed”  that we were limited in food options but also understood that the university was doing its best to keep everyone safe.

Altogether, Wingate has strategically planned out the Winter Weather Protocol to ensure the safety of all its students and faculty. As we may encounter another storm, it is clear that the university has everything set up to keep students fed and safe even when the university is closed for the day or if there is a two-hour delay. Maybe winter weather round two will be soon to follow so stay tuned for more information on that.

Edited by: Brea Childs

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