Funding is a not factor when determining Humber College extreme weather closures, according to Humber staff responsible for making school closure decisions.
“That is a common misconception or rumour, there is absolutely zero truth to the idea that the school loses money when we decide to close,” said Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management at Humber College Rob Kiffoyle.
If an extreme weather alert is issued by Environment Canada, Kiffoyle and Public Safety enact the weather closure procedure by first monitoring the weather and making the Vice President of Academics aware of the situation.
“We make the Vice President of academic aware of the event that is occurring and we monitor forecasts and web locations that we look at,” said Kiffoyle.
The vice presidents of Academics, Facilities and Public Safety come together on a conference call to discuss the weather early in the morning.
“Around 4:30 am we start access and looking at what the forecast is doing, police advisories, public transit, we also check with other institutions,” said Kiffoyle.
If Humber College is in a safe condition is also considered, according to Kiffoyle.
Student commutes isn’t on a high priory, Kiffoyle said. “Students come from all over, we may have students that come from Barrie and the weather in Barrie can be way worse than down here so we can’t judge the transportation. We make our decision looking up things globally.”
When deciding when it’s safe to resume normal operation, snow clearing is taken into account.
Kiffoyle said, “We always assume we will be open if we close today we will be open tomorrow unless we make another decision. We do that by accessing how effective the snow cleanup has been.”
The areas that are focused on when doing cleanup are the bus loops and entrance. Spencer Wood, the Director of the Facilities Department said, “We focus on the main areas north campus, for example, the bus loop is a high priority and the walkway from there to the LRC.”
When advising the Vice President of academics who has the final say in school closures, the facilities department looks at the snow cleanup, Spencer Wood Director of facilities. “Can I clear the snow? Can I make the campus safe? [That] is what I am looking at.”
When Humber is closed students miss out on work and content and it is expected that professors accommodate them. “There is an expectation that facility will accommodate for weather day so students need to deal directly with their facility,” said Kiffoyle.
Students have the option to sign up for Humber alert system which allows students to receive push notifications on their phone when Humber is closed which is available through the Humber public safety website.
Image courtesy of @HumberLakeshore on Instagram.