Unscheduled Closure of Campus Buildings (and Severe Weather Procedure)

Effective Date: June 10, 2014
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Purpose/Rationale:

The Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning and the University of Guelph-Humber (hereafter referred to as “Humber” or “the College”) endeavours to provide a safe learning and working environment for students, employees, contractors and visitors to our campuses. The purpose of this policy is to establish principles and decision making processes that will govern the actions of the College in the event of an unscheduled college closure due to emergencies, including severe weather conditions.

 

Scope:

This policy applies to all the college’s facilities and operations, whether owned or leased. This policy governs the activities of all students, employees, visitors and contractors.

 

Definitions:

College closure: college buildings and property are closed to public access and access into the buildings is restricted. On-campus classroom instruction and business activities are cancelled, as well as the provision of all support services, except those designated as essential by the College.

Severe weather: refers to weather conditions which may limit or endanger movement of people to and from their intended destination.

Employees: refers to full and part time faculty, support staff and administrators.

Emergencies: refers to hazardous situations caused by such occurrences as utility failures, floods, breakdowns of building systems, fire, threats of violence, bomb threats and other situations that threaten the safety and/or security of individuals, the environment and/or College facilities.

Essential Services:  services that are necessary to enable the College to assure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff; preservation of machinery, equipment and premises; and minimization of serious environmental damage, and, continuation of the administration.

Essential Employees:  employees designated by their manager as essential in order to ensure the health and safety of the College community, preservation and protection of building assets and/or minimization of environmental damage will be declared essential.

 

Policy:

1.    General:

1.1.  In the interest of safety, the closure of one or all of the College’s campuses or part or all of one of the College’s buildings  may be required due to emergencies, including severe weather conditions.

1.2.  In the event of emergencies or severe weather conditions, it may be necessary to evacuate all or part of the College buildings or grounds to ensure the safety of persons or property. In this event, access to the College will be restricted to all except for essential employees and emergency personnel (e.g. fire, police, ambulances etc.).

1.3.  The College will ensure that a plan and procedures are in place to deal with conditions that may lead to the closure of all or part of the College’s facilities, including a plan to communicate information via the College’s Mass Communication System, the Humber website, social media and through the media (TV, radio and press).

1.4.  When a campus is closed:

a)    All on-campus classes and labs will be cancelled and tests and examinations will be postponed. The College will ensure that a complete or partial College closure will not have a negative impact on the academic activities and achievements of students;

b)    Employees scheduled to work, other than those designated as essential, will not be required to attend work;

c)    Essential employees will be required to remain at work or report to work as soon as possible; and

d)    College residences will remain open, unless otherwise indicated.

1.5.  Employees or students scheduled to complete / participate in College related activities off campus at external organizations such as hospitals, clinics or agencies  will follow the protocol of the external organization with respect to cancellation of College-related activities or closure of the facility. It is the students’ and employees’ responsibility to advise their external placement advisor or supervisor of any situation which prevents them from attending such activities off campus.

2.    Decision Making:

2.1.  The decision to close one or all of the College’s campuses or part or all of one of the College’s buildings, will rest with the Senior Vice President, Academic following consultation with other members of the Senior Executive Team. The Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management or designate, the Director of Facilities Management, the Campus Principal and/or other administrators will provide advice and recommendations as appropriate.  The preceding does not limit actions from being taken in urgent situations when emergency procedures are put into effect (e.g. Bomb Threat or Fire)

2.2.  In the event of severe weather conditions, and recognizing that weather conditions can change quickly, every effort will be made to reach a decision regarding cancellation of on- campus classes and/or closure of the College as early as possible for day and/or evening classes.  Whenever possible, these decisions will normally be made by 5:30 a.m. for daytime classes, and 3:30 p.m. for evening classes. Once a day’s operations has commenced, a decision to suspend operations and cancel daytime classes may be enacted at any time.

3.    Resumption of Normal Operations:
3.1.Once the cause for the closure has been resolved, the College will take all reasonable  measures to ensure that full College operations are restored as quickly as possible.

3.2.  The decision to resume normal operations rests with the Senior Vice President, Academic following consultation with members of the Senior Executive Team and others as appropriate.

3.3.Once the decision to resume normal operations is made, it will be communicated to the Director, Public Safety and Emergency Management or designate, who will cancel the    closure of one or all of the College campuses or part or all of one of the College’s buildings and communicate the decision via the Mass Communication system to the appropriate lists.

3.4. The Director, Public Relations and Communications will update the website, social media sites and contact the appropriate broadcast media outlets to publicize the decision.

References:

None.