Note: This message was sent Jan. 28 to members of the UChicago community by Eric M. Heath, Associate Vice President for Safety & Security; and Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University.
In light of weather forecasts calling for potentially hazardous low temperatures well below zero in Chicago on Wednesday, Jan. 30, the President and Provost, in discussion with the deans, have canceled all classes and non-essential activities at Chicago locations for Wednesday. The cancellation covers classes in Hyde Park as well as those at the Gleacher Center and NBC Tower downtown.
The National Weather Service is predicting that temperatures could reach 20 degrees below zero on Wednesday, with the potential for low temperatures Tuesday through Thursday. University classes and activities currently scheduled for Tuesday night may be affected as well, since the current weather advisory begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Please check with organizers or the venue ahead of time if you’re unsure.
In addition, the Laboratory Schools and all four campuses of the University of Chicago Charter Schools have canceled classes for both Tuesday and Wednesday. Families with children at those schools should check for any additional cancellations. All classes are expected to resume on Thursday. We will communicate again closer to that date.
As a residential University, many functions will continue during the closure on Wednesday:
- All residence halls and dining commons will remain open.
- Essential safety personnel, including University police and Facilities employees, will provide key services, though security officers will be removed from outdoor posts as temperatures drop to unsafe levels.
- Transportation services, including shuttle buses, will operate on a regular schedule unless conditions make that impossible or unsafe.
- Closures will include all Library facilities, Harper Memorial Library, the Reynolds Club, Ida Noyes, and eateries in those buildings.
- The University of Chicago Medicine will continue to operate its hospitals and clinics, and will continue to communicate about operations with their staff and faculty.
- The Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service will remain open for urgent cases and urgent walk-ins. Non-urgent appointments will be rescheduled.
- Please check the University website for continuing updates. Many units will issue additional guidance specific to their school, division, or department.
Please plan ahead for the severe weather and take extra precautions. We advise students, faculty, other academic personnel, and staff to avoid travel on Wednesday and stay inside if possible. University employees who perform non-critical functions are not expected to come to campus; employees who can perform their jobs remotely should do so. Employees should consult with their supervisors about questions specific to their roles and assignments. UChicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Division personnel who perform essential clinical or other functions will be expected to work on Wednesday.
Here is additional information on essential services:
Safety and Security
- Snow removal and salt crews will be working over the next few days to keep main walkways and building entrances clear and safe.
- Download the UChicagoSafe Mobile App for immediate access to information for emergencies and links to safety resources.
- The Office of Facilities Services has scheduled additional shifts for staff to respond to urgent situations on campus should they arise.
Housing & Dining
- Extra provisions have been made to ensure that residential housing and dining needs are met throughout any period of extreme weather.
- Special arrangements for dining will be made available for residents of Stony Island Hall and International House.
Because travel is predicted to be difficult, we advise members of our community who must commute to campus:
- Use public transportation if at all possible
- Stay up to date on any changes in campus transportation services. To minimize time spent waiting outdoors, you can track individual buses and shuttles at uchicago.transloc.com (also available on smartphones).
- If you drive to campus and park on the street, be sure to adhere to all city street signs as some locations that are usually open for parking may be prohibited during extreme weather.
- For students who are experiencing difficulties as a result of the extreme weather (e.g., inadequate winter clothing, transportation problems), please contact Campus and Student Life at 773.702.5243 during regular business hours or submit a request via https://csl.uchicago.edu/about/contact. For immediate attention, phone the Dean-on-Call at 773.834.HELP (4357).
- Further information on employment policy and weather can be found at http://hrservices.uchicago.edu/fpg/policies/500/p502.shtml, under item #14.
Please check the University website, www.uchicago.edu, for further updates. We urge you to take precautions and do what you can to help one another through the difficult conditions.