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OSU Campus in the Winter

Virtual campus, not closed campus is new protocol for inclement weather

Friday, February 12, 2021

The National Weather Service shows a significant snow storm and dangerously low wind chills are expected over the weekend and early next week. The OSU Inclement Weather Committee will be closely monitoring conditions all weekend and meeting to discuss available weather data before making a recommendation to senior administration regarding campus operations.

Virtual campus, not closed campus

Starting next week, if inclement weather creates hazardous conditions, the university will announce a move to a virtual campus and virtual courses rather than a closed campus and canceled courses. The announcement will be made with a Cowboy Weather Alert sent via text message, email and phone call. Students should monitor their email on virtual campus days as faculty will provide instructions regarding whether their scheduled courses will be held virtually or canceled. The flexibility of a virtual campus model will be the OSU standard protocol going forward for all inclement weather days.

Employee Information 

Should the university move to the virtual campus model due to inclement weather, administrative service delivery will be virtual as well. 

  • If employees can work from home as authorized by their supervisors, they will be paid for time worked. This can include student and temporary employee classifications.
  • If staff cannot work from home, administrative leave will be used. This provision does not include student and temporary employee classifications. 
  • If staff must physically work on campus, they will be paid administrative leave in addition to the time worked. For exempt staff members, this will be provided as comparable time off at a later date.

For questions about specific situations, employees should contact their supervisor.

Make preparations now

While the university monitors National Weather Service reports and other available weather data, we ask that you all remain weather aware as well. Frigid temperatures of this nature should not be taken lightly. Take care of errands early so that if the weather comes in according to the forecast, everyone is prepared.

Cold Weather Information and Tips

  • Students in need of housing should contact the Office of Student Affairs,

  • Need a coat? The Student Government Association (SGA) has coats available in SGA Pete’s Pantry at 211P in the Student Union. For more information, email 

  • If you must be outdoors in bitterly cold weather, limit your exposure to a few minutes each time.

  • Wear several light layers of clothing. When you go outdoors, cover all exposed skin and, if possible, wear mittens instead of gloves. Wear two pairs of socks: silk or a synthetic fiber that does not hold moisture and a second wool pair if possible. 

  • Choose shoes with a rugged sole for traction.

  • DO drink warm beverages — ones that contain sugar may be especially helpful.

  • Beware of black ice on streets and sidewalks. Practically invisible, it can develop on dry pavement when condensation freezes in shaded areas.

  • Avoid stepping on the edges of the curbs. The ice melt can only be applied to horizontal surfaces, which leaves the edges of curbs slick.

  • Haven’t downloaded OSU’s safety resource, the Rave Guardian app? Do it before you leave home. Use the safety timer so a family member or friend can know where you are in your journey. Download Rave Guardian here.

  • Driving? Keep your gas tank as full as possible. 

See additional safety tips at or visit the National Weather Service website.

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