Winter Weather: Frequently Asked Questions

Given the volume of questions we receive as a result of severe winter weather predictions and occurrences, we have developed a series of frequently asked questions. While not all-inclusive, the FAQ is meant to serve as a source of information for all of the university's constituencies, including students, faculty and staff.

What does it mean when the university has a delayed opening? Is my class canceled?

When will we know if the university has decided to close or delay opening for the day?

How will I know if my class is canceled?

Are you aware that, as a metropolitan university, the majority of your students commute from various parts of Oklahoma?

Why is it sometimes public schools close and UCO doesn't?

What happens if I miss my class because I decide my area is too dangerous to drive in?

Who decides if UCO will close or delay opening in case of inclement weather?

Who is responsible for removing snow and ice on campus?

What does it mean when the university has a delayed opening? Is my class canceled?

Under a delayed opening, the university will begin daily operations at the time announced. Non-essential employees will be expected to report to work, and class schedules will resume at this time. Any scheduled classes or activities that begin before the announced opening time are canceled unless otherwise noted.

When will we know if the university has decided to close or delay opening for the day?

The short answer is that we know about five minutes before you do. The slightly more lengthy answer is that we do our best to make these decisions by 6 a.m. the morning of the day in question. The reason for this is due to the unpredictable nature of Oklahoma’s weather, and shutting down a university that serves hundreds of faculty and staff and thousands of students daily is a decision we do not take lightly. It is not uncommon for predictions regarding Oklahoma’s weather to not come to fruition as expected. As a result, we usually consider it to be in our best interests to see how a predicted major weather event will play out instead of preemptively canceling classes or having a delayed opening.

How will I know if my class is canceled?

Class cancellations are announced through the homepage of the UCO website, UCONNECT, local media, the UCO Facebook page, the @UCOBronchos Twitter account, the Closing Information Line at 405-974-2002, the Closing Information page and the opt-in Central Alert weather notification text.

Are you aware that, as a metropolitan university, the majority of your students commute from various parts of Oklahoma?

Yes. While Central students do travel from various parts of Oklahoma, closing decisions are made based on the location of the campus. Nearly 60 percent of our students live in Oklahoma County, which encompasses Edmond and part of Oklahoma City. About another 12-15 percent actually live on campus. What this means is the vast majority of students live approximately twenty minutes or less from campus by car. Safety is our first concern, but providing our students with a quality education is a strong second. If we feel most students, faculty and staff can get to campus safely, we are more likely to open for the day, and we rely on others to use their best judgment when it comes to whether or not they should travel to campus. Should you feel it is not safe for you to travel to campus, contact your professor or supervisor.

Why is it sometimes public schools close and UCO doesn't?

Public school systems build snow days into their annual schedules, and must make decisions that involve the transportation of minors by bus. Furthermore, the loss of a class period is significantly more likely to affect academic programs at a university. Unlike public schools, we do not extend the school year when days are lost, so we are simply less likely to close for inclement weather conditions.

That being said, we encourage you to use your best judgment in determining whether it is safe to travel to campus. Should you elect to you stay home, reach out to your professors or your dean’s office for the best course of action when it comes to your academic progress. (For faculty/staff, we encourage you to contact your supervisor.)

What happens if I miss my class because I decide my area is too dangerous to drive in?

We understand that individual circumstances may vary. We have advised faculty to be more flexible in situations involving safe travel in inclement weather; however, it is the student’s responsibility to be as prompt as possible in communicating their situation to their professors.

Who decides if UCO will close or delay opening in case of inclement weather?

The decision to close or delay opening for the day is made as a joint effort between the President’s office and the office of Safety and Transportation Services.

Who is responsible for removing snow and ice on campus?

Snow and ice removal is coordinated by the offices of Transportation and Parking Services, Facilities, and Housing and Dining. Download the UCO Snow Map (pdf) to learn which building entrances are prepared first during inclement weather.