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Storms 'o the season

October 26, 2011

For the latest on campus closures and conditions no matter what the weather, check out CSU's Public Safety website at

Hi everybody,

I didn’t have a question to answer, just some winter storm info our esteemed CSU president sent to our intrepid and curious students last night.

Read on for more CSU and PSD closure details.

- Cam the Ram

Take a closer peek - this isn't the latest snow storm. It's from an October storm that hit in 1957.Dear students,

This e-mail is aimed mostly at first-year students, so those of you who aren’t – why are you still reading?

So…with the forecast for snow this evening and more for tomorrow, I anticipate the inevitable calls and emails wondering why we’re not closing campus and why we don’t care about your safety. It’s not that I don’t enjoy getting these – the young man who emailed me last year that he was dying in a snow bank and wanted to donate his body to science was particularly entertaining. But I did think it might be useful for you to understand my thinking on closing campus.

Less likely than the Cubs winning the next World Series.

Why are we open?

For whatever it’s worth, we do understand that a lot of our students are commuters, and we work very closely with city and county officials on their thinking about closing their offices and keeping people off the roads if road crews are unable to keep pace with a storm. If the city and county are asking people to stay off the roads, we generally shut down. If the city and county aren’t asking people to stay at home, I usually talk with our folks at CSUPD and facilities and I typically drive outside city limits before making the decision to close or not.

I’m often asked why we remain open when local K-12 schools close.

Poudre School District closing presents a special challenge for us as the region’s largest employer. Because of the liability for minors, PSD has a different set of responsibilities than other agencies and we know that PSD shutting down can create hardships for some of our students and many of our employees if we remain open.

Hourly employees

However, there’s another side to that coin in that if we close the university, many of our lowest paid, hourly employees take a hit in their wallet that is perhaps harder for them to manage than some of the rest of us. We try to balance all of those things when considering a situation, but different people will, of course, see these situations differently.

And then there is the always popular wind chill argument for students walking across campus (especially popular with non-resident students from southern states). Here’s a hint you might find useful in managing the cold: Wear a coat. And a hat and gloves. Reconsider the shorts and flip flops.

Go to class. Plan some extra time for your commute. Be safe.

Tony Frank, CSU president