On Sunday, Nov. 25, winter storm Bruce hit Kansas leaving behind between 1-inch to a foot of snow, which resulted in a full closure of the campus on Monday.
At around 5 p.m. on Sunday, students and faculty received a text message from the college’s alert system, RAVE, notifying them that the college would be closed on Monday.
“[The college’s] campus will be closed Monday due to the winter storm,” read the alert. “This includes all classes and activities.”
According to Chris Gray, AVP of Strategic Communication and Marketing, the decision to shut down the campus factors in the safety of the campus’s roads and walkways, and conditions of the roads in the area.
“Considerations that we are a community college and have students driving onto campus from areas outside of Johnson County, [such as] Lawrence for example, come into play,” Gray said. “We strive to get the notice out as soon as we can so people can plan accordingly.”
Gray mentioned the decision is made by three people: Barbara Larson, EVP of Finance & Administrative Services; Rex Hays, AVP of Campus Services; and Chris Gray himself. The college’s president, Joe Sopcich, is consulted before the final decision to cancel classes is made. Once the decision is made, the college alerts students and staff through the RAVE alert system.
“RAVE is our alert system that is used to send out texts, emails, social media alerts and updates to the college phone lines,” Gray said. “Alerts on the website and to the local media are placed systematically as soon as we make the decision.”
With classes canceled for Monday, students ended up receiving an extra day for their Thanksgiving break.
“It was kind of nice and kind of not [to have an extra day],” said Delaney Dodge, student. “It was a nice day off, but I couldn’t spend it with anyone but my parents.”
Dodge said her trip to work took longer than usual and the road conditions were terrible.
“When I had to work on Monday, it took me an extra 20 minutes to get there,” said Dodge. “On the way to work, I didn’t see salt anywhere. The sand that they put on the roads froze. I was blown away on how poorly the highways’ conditions were. What should have taken me 15 minutes, took 45.”
Winter storm Bruce is now heading Northeast. More snow is forecasted to hit Kansas on Monday, Dec. 1.