OCU officials continually monitor the weather and will announce any closings or cancellations as they arise. Campus closings and delayed openings will be announced through the university’s Blue Alert text/email message emergency notification system. They will also be posted on this webpage, on the www.okcu.edu homepage, on local radio and television stations, and through the official OCU Facebook and Twitter accounts. No announcement will be made if classes are to be conducted as scheduled.
Students, Faculty, Staff and Guests: Your Safety is Our Priority
While the Oklahoma climate is mild, occasional snow and ice accumulations necessitate closing the campus for the safety of its community. The OCU Facilities Department will do everything it can to keep parking lots clear and sidewalks safe and dry. Maintenance crews will clear as much snow from walkways as possible before classes. In addition, they will put an ice melting compound on walkways in order to improve traction and safety. On the main campus, the initial areas of focus for the clearing effort are the residence halls and access to dining and the library. At the OCU School of Law campus, the main areas of focus will be parking lots and main entries into the building.
When the university is closed for weather-related purposes, scheduled events and other activities are assumed to be canceled or postponed. On occasion, classes have to be canceled or starting times delayed. Students who feel they cannot safely travel to school should contact their professor at a later time for work missed. Faculty and staff who feel they cannot safely travel to school should contact their supervisor. Please exercise caution and use common sense in making your decision to travel to school.
How is the decision made to close the main and law school campuses?
The decision to close the campuses and cancel classes and events is made with input from many sources. Safety is always our utmost concern, but we also want to make sure students have every opportunity to attend the classes they have purchased with their tuition. Before making the decision to close, the OCU Risk Manager talks with other universities, we monitor local streets and highways, we receive updates from the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma, and we interact with OCU Facilities and the OCU Police Department about the condition of sidewalks and parking lots on both campuses. Because the OKC metro is so widespread and the weather is often local, we try to get as much information as possible to evaluate the many areas in which OCU commuters live.
Suggestions for students, faculty and staff during winter weather conditions
Below is a list of points to consider when walking in icy weather conditions:
- Please be advised that parking lots can remain slick and hazardous. Use caution when leaving your vehicle and when stepping up on to the sidewalk or stairway.
- In cold temperatures, approach with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy. Dew or water vapor can freeze on cold surfaces, forming an extra-thin, nearly invisible layer of ice that can look like a wet spot on the pavement.
- Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a snow- or ice-covered sidewalk or driveway, especially if on a hill, may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.
- Taking shortcuts through areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible can be hazardous.
- Bend slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.
- Extend your arms out to your sides to maintain balance. Beware if you are carrying a heavy backpack or other load—your sense of balance will be off. If you must carry a load, try not to carry too much; leave your hands and arms free to balance yourself.
- Keep your hands out of your pockets. Hands out of your pockets while walking lowers your center of gravity and increases balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.
- Watch where you are stepping and go SLOWLY! This will help your reaction time to change with traction.
- When walking on steps always use the hand railings and plant your feet firmly on each step.
- Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.
- Take short steps or shuffle for stability. It also helps to stop occasionally to break momentum.
Below is a list of points to consider when driving in icy weather conditions:
- Make sure your car is prepared for cold temperatures and wintery conditions like snow and ice. Keep your equipment properly maintained and include a winter survival kit in your vehicle: an ice scraper, snow shovel and sand/salt.
- Clear snow and ice off your car – including windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk.
- Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility.
- Avoid using cruise control in snowy or icy conditions. In adverse conditions, you want as much control of your car as possible.
- Know how to brake on slippery surfaces. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes operate much differently from those that do not have anti-lock brakes. You should consult your vehicle's owner's manual for instructions on how to brake properly if your vehicle should start to skid.
- Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season. This helps ensure you have a source of heat if you are stuck or stranded.
- Keep your windshield washer reservoir full, and make sure your car has wiper blades that are in good condition.
- Remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. You should reduce your speed and increase your following distance as road conditions and visibility worsen.
- Be cautious on bridges and overpasses as they are commonly the first areas to become icy.
- Avoid passing snow plows and sand trucks. The drivers can have limited visibility, and the road in front of them could be worse than the road behind.
- Allow plenty of time (check the weather and leave early if necessary), be familiar with the maps/ directions, and let others know your route and arrival time.
Watch where you go and take it slow!