Inclement Weather and Other Emergency Events

Southwestern University is committed to a year-round operating schedule in pursuit of its mission as an undergraduate residential institution of higher education. The University intends to remain open and adhere to full operations, including normal class schedules, insofar as it is possible. Southwestern faculty and staff are expected to come to work unless otherwise notified by telephone contact from a supervisor or by an announcement on the Southwestern University web site or one of the radio and television stations listed below. Southwestern University, however, does not advise members of the University community to take unwarranted risks when traveling to work in the event of inclement weather or other emergencies. Each person must judge for themselves if it is safe to travel from their particular location, or if it makes more sense to simply take time off.

KASE-FM 100.7
KVET-AM 1300/FM 98.1 

Television (TV)
Channel 7 (Cable-Channel 2)
Austin Channel 24 (Cable-Channel 3)
Austin Channel 36 (Cable-Channel 4)
KEYE Austin Channel 42 (Cable-Channel 5)
News8 Austin Channel 8

Radio and television announcements normally will air before 8:00 a.m., but the news could be delayed due to individual Radio/TV station broadcast priorities.

Information posted on Southwestern’s web site should be available before any other information outlet except when the Emergency Notification System is used for significant emergencies. If the SU Home Page is not functional, the emergency Web site is your source of information.

Southwestern’s official social media channels also can be a good source of information in the event of inclement weather or other emergencies. Follow Southwestern on Facebook ( or on Twitter (@SouthwesternU).

Emergency Notification System. The Emergency Notification System (ENS) will only be used in cases of a “significant emergency or dangerous situation”. However, if other communication channels are unavailable or an urgent situation exists, the ENS may be activated. Your first source of information for inclement weather notices remains the University Web site and the above radio and television stations.

Keep your ENS information current at all times via the Web Advisor tab in the University portal system,

Sustained Power Outages. In the event the University loses public utility services for a sustained period of time, the University may need to implement emergency management procedures. The telephone system on campus will operate on generator power for an extended period after the loss of power. During this period, relevant information can be relayed, via phone, to faculty and staff about class schedules, building operations, and staffing assignments on campus. If power is lost for a sustained period, all supervisors (students, faculty, and staff) should appoint another person to be “in charge” and assume responsibility for that area. The supervisors should then assemble in the A. Frank Smith, Jr. Library Center, in the space now called “The Sandbox”, for emergency management assignments and coordination. The Sandbox is the room adjacent to the Campus Operator switchboard which is now accessible from the main library entrance through Periodicals. If the telephone system is not operating, Physical Plant staff and the Campus Police will be assigned to walk the campus and notify building occupants of the need for supervisors to assemble at the Smith Library Center Sandbox.

Inclement Weather. Should inclement weather or the threat of such weather necessitate the closing of the University, an announcement of the early closing will be disseminated from each staff officer and supervisor to faculty and his/her staff members.

The responsibility for making the decision to close the University during inclement weather rests with the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Vice President for Student Life, and the Vice President for Fiscal Affairs, in consultation with the President and Chief of Police.

If inclement weather occurs and the University remains open, employees who miss work or who leave work early because of inclement weather must use vacation leave or, if vacation leave is not available, leave without pay, for the work time missed. In these cases, the employee must secure prior permission from his/her supervisor to be absent or to leave early from work.

When the University is in session and students are on campus during inclement weather, provision should be made to keep essential services open and available to students. Physical Plant should sustain sufficient staffing to maintain residence halls and keep necessary campus buildings operational. In addition, the University Dining Services, the Bookstore, the Post Office, the Red & Charline McCombs Campus Center, the A. Frank Smith, Jr. Library Center, Computer Labs, and the Corbin J. Robertson Center should remain open. Supervisors of these buildings are responsible for preparing/organizing a plan to provide sufficient staffing to keep these facilities open and available to students.

When Southwestern is not in session and the University has announced a closing because of inclement weather, certain key personnel must still report to work. Supervisors will identify key personnel who must report to work in all conditions.

Inclement weather and other emergency information may also be posted at the following number: 1 (800) 992-9751. “Announcements only” will be posted at this number.

The Campus Operator is a vital resource for coordinating campus closings and emergency situations. Because of the need to deal with priority events, members of the campus community should rely on the SU Web site, the radio and television stations, and the 800 number rather than calling the Campus Operator. Contact your supervisor before calling the Campus Operator.

Always check the Web site(s) before you attempt to call the campus operator for information.

In the event that the University is threatened with severe thunderstorms and/or tornadoes, the Chief of Police, or her designee(s), has full authority to order all faculty, staff, and students to take shelter in designated locations on campus. To ensure the safety for all members of the community, faculty, staff, and students shall adhere to the order(s) of the Chief of Police, or her designee(s), until the threat of severe weather has subsided.

Updated September 30, 2014