Chancellor responds to SG inclement weather policy changes

Student Government meeting 08-26-19

Chancellor Randy Pembrook attended the Student Government meeting Monday evening to give feedback on a resolution SG recently passed which called for changes in the inclement weather policy at SIUE.

The resolution calls for a timeline of class/campus cancellation, and specific metrics to guide when one of the three campuses — East St. Louis, Alton and Edwardsville — should cancel classes or close the university for the day. It asks the university to close or cancel classes when temperatures reach -5 degrees, or when the wind chill drops below -18 degrees.

Pembrook said that he thought the metrics provided by SG could be incorporated into the university’s revised inclement weather plan, but that the nature of weather reporting, and the speed at which the weather can change, might lead to some error in implementing the policy.

“I think as long as we recognize that there might be some interesting moments right on the line, as long as you can live with some level of uncertainty about that, I think we can try to put together a policy that speaks to the metrics that you talked about,” Pembrook said.

Pembrook said cancellation announcements should happen at least two hours before the first classes happen: 6 a.m. for daytime classes, 2:30 p.m. for evening classes (those starting after 4:30) or two hours before any severe weather or cold starts if it’s expected in the middle of the day.

Multiple members of SG had questions for Pembrook about the potential use of the policy, but Kathleen Antos, senator for the School of Nursing and a senior nursing major from Crest Hill, Illinois, had another perspective to offer the chancellor.

“I understand the two hour estimate to cancel beforehand for the general university public, but from the perspective from the school of nursing: some clinicals we have to be there at 6:30 in the morning, so we would already be on our way, but if school was canceled then clinical would also be canceled,” Antos said. “So there, we might be driving for 45 minutes so we would already be driving to clinical when that call would be made.”

Pembrook then went on to ask Antos what time she thought nursing students would need a closure announcement by, and Antos told him 5:30 a.m.

Tammy Taylor, associate director of the Career Development Center also spoke at the meeting about the services the center offers for students.

Taylor said the center helps students change or pick majors, hosts the career fairs, provides professional wardrobes to students for free and holds mock interviews.

“One of the things that we have found is students, when it comes to interviewing, they’re kind of scared of it. They don’t know what to do, they don’t know how to dress, they don’t know what to expect, they don’t know they should be asking employers questions. We go through all of that sort of thing,” Taylor said. “We also talk about little habits that you might have that you don’t want to do when you’re interviewing. For example, I twist my hair. I just twist, and I twist, and I twist. Not for any reason, I just do it. If I’m on an interview, I want to make sure I don’t do that.”

The next SG meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the Goshen Lounge. 

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