POLICY TEMPLATE
University Class Cancellation and
Closing Procedures
Category:
Approval:
Responsibility:
Date:
Operations
PVP
Vice President, Finance and Administration
Date initially approved: Pre-2005
Date of last revision: November 18, 2014
Definitions:
Class or Exam Cancellation means that classes or exams are cancelled, normally due to
hazardous weather conditions, but that employees report to work as soon as it is safe to
do so in accordance with their departmental procedures, so that other university
operations may continue. If employees are already at work, they are to obtain
permission from their supervisor before going home early during working hours. Special
event organizers and departments with practica are responsible to decide whether or
not to cancel their activity, and to inform participants.
Emergency Closing of the University means that all activities conducted on one or more
Trent campus(es) will be cancelled, buildings will be locked and notices posted around
campus to that effect. Only Campus Security/G4S Durham and designated personnel as
defined in the Trent University Emergency Management Plan (ie. Campus Security,
Physical Resources and Information Technology staff and the Emergency Response
Team) will be allowed on campus; all others will be evacuated. At the discretion of the
Associate Vice-President Students, and if it can be done safely, special provisions may
be made for students living in residence.
Purpose/Reason for Policy:
It is the intent of this policy to provide clear authorities and detailed, consistent
procedures to be implemented in the event that a university closure or class/exam
cancellation is required.
Scope of this Policy:
This policy applies to all Trent University activities conducted on Symons, Traill and
Durham campuses and to all employees, students, contractors, volunteers and visitors to
those campuses.
The Emergency Management Plan provides additional information.
Policy Statement:
It is the policy of Trent University to maintain operations as scheduled unless physically
prevented by an emergency situation or in a situation, such as severe weather, when
there is a significant risk to personal safety. In such cases, class/exam cancellation or
temporary closure may be required.
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Responsibilities:
The authority and responsibility for cancelling classes and/or closing the University rests
with the Vice-President, Finance and Administration in Peterborough and/or the
Head, Trent University Durham. During exams, this decision will be taken in
consultation with the Registrar when possible.
Class cancellations and emergency closings will be firm and not left to the discretion of
individuals or departments. As well, individual Department Heads/Chairs are not
authorized to unilaterally close their department or cancel departmental classes or
exams. However, decisions to cancel or postpone specific activities or allow individual
employees to leave work in specific circumstances of high risk rest with the responsible
Department Head/Chair.
Due to risk of liability, no special arrangements will be made to continue any events
when Emergency Closure of the University is announced.
All university employees are to read and follow the provisions of this policy.
Contact Officer
Director, Risk Management
Date for Next Review
2015/08/01
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
Emergency Management Plan
Policies Superseded by This Policy
Nil
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APPENDIX ‘B’
PROCEDURE
CLASS CANCELLATION AND/OR CAMPUS
CLOSURE
PROCEDURE
Contact Officer
Director, Risk Management
Purpose
The purpose is to provide instructions and timelines for cancelling
classes/exams or closing university campuses in Peterborough and/or
Oshawa in the case of severe weather or other emergency.
Procedure
Whenever someone other than the primary individual noted in the first
column have responsibilities relating to each step, their title is
highlighted in bold in the second column outlining the procedure.
Campus
Security
Severe Weather
It is the responsibility of Campus Security in Peterborough to
monitor weather, road conditions and bus service after normal
working hours, and try to determine whether the other
educational institutions in Peterborough or Durham are likely to
cancel classes or close. When hazardous weather conditions are
imminent, Campus Security shall provide information about
weather reports, road conditions, local bus service and closure
decisions of other institutions to the VP Finance and
Administration and/or the Head, Trent University Durham.
Security may consult the following phone lines or web sites:
 Peterborough County OPP
 OPP Operations Centre Orillia (emergency line)
 Ministry of Transportation (road conditions)
 Peterborough Community Police Service
 Environment Canada Peterborough
 Peterborough Transit
 Sir Sandford Fleming College Campus Security
 Sir Sandford Fleming College Security Manager
 GTA Post Secondary Institutions email group – Security
Directors including UOIT/DC, U of T Scarborough,
Centennial College, George Brown College and Sheridan
College
 Oshawa Transit
 Durham Region Police Service
 CAA Emergency Road Service
http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/on-121_metric_e.html
http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/caon0536
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/conditions/
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/trip/road_closures.shtml
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/
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http://www.thewolf.ca
To assist in determining the estimated timing of weather events,
Environment Canada defines time of day as follows:
Morning
6.00 am - 12.00 pm
Afternoon
12.00 pm - 6.00 pm
Evening
6.00 pm - 12.00 am
Overnight
12.00 am - 6.00 am
Early morning
6.00 am - 9.00 am
Early afternoon
12.00 pm - 3.00 pm
Early evening
6.00 pm - 9.00 pm
Near noon
11.00 am - 1.00 pm
Late morning
9.00 am - 12.00 pm
Late afternoon
3.00 pm - 6.00 pm
Late evening
9.00 pm - 12.00 am
Near midnight
11.00 pm - 1.00 am
Please note that there is one exception to this: for the forecast
issued at 4:00 p.m., the evening is from 4:00 p.m. until midnight.
Campus Security will specifically determine whether there is a
local OPP travel advisory in place and whether Peterborough or
Durham Transit is expected to or has ceased operations. In either
instance, class cancellation is advised.
Campus security will contact the Director, Risk Management
with a report on the weather before:
 6:15 a.m. on a workday to ensure the decision is broadcast
on local radio by 7:00 a.m.
 By 3:30 p.m. to ensure the decision to cancel evening
classes is promulgated by 4:00 p.m.
 At least three hours in advance of any exam sessions that
are to be cancelled
The Director, Risk Management will make a recommendation to
the VP Finance and Administration or Head, Trent University
Durham regarding cancellation or closing.
Vice-President
Finance and
Administration
and/or Head,
Trent in Oshawa
Will decide whether or not to cancel classes or close the
university, at what time and so instruct the Director, Risk
Management and the Executive Director, Marketing and
Communications.
Assistant to the
VP Finance and
Administration
Will immediately email the Senior Management Committee to
provide them with advance warning of class cancellations so that
they can ensure their employees are advised to remain at work.
In the case of an emergency closing, Senior Management
Committee may not receive advance warning.
Executive
Director,
Marketing and
Communications
and/or Campus
Security
Will issue the following Emergency Communications System (ECS)
Announcement for class cancellations or emergency closure
“ATTENTION PLEASE, ATTENTION PLEASE. EFFECTIVE (state
time) CLASSES WILL BE CANCELLED/THE UNIVERSITY IS CLOSED
UNTIL (date and time or “FURTHER NOTICE”) DUE TO (specify
reason). TRENT EMPLOYEES ARE TO CONTINUE THEIR NORMAL
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WORK SCHEDULE/DESIGNATED PERSONNEL ARE TO REMAIN ON
CAMPUS AND CONTACT THEIR SUPERVISORS; ALL OTHERS ARE TO
LEAVE CAMPUS IMMEDIATELY (PROVIDE TRANSIT DETAILS).
PLEASE CONSULT THE TRENT WEB PAGE, INFO TRENT 748-1234
OR LOCAL MEDIA FOR UPDATES ON THIS SITUATION” This
message will be repeated three times, followed by a text
message and an email to employees and students. The message
will be repeated periodically throughout the closure. The
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications will:
 change the recorded message on InfoTrent 748-1234.
 post the cancellation/closure on the Trent internet
welcome screen and the student and employee intranet
portals.
 change the recorded message on the main University
number 748-1011.
 advise local media as per the attached list.
NOTE: In the event of a power failure, the ECS will remain
operational for 30 minutes so the closure/cancellation
announcement is to be made during this time. If further
announcements are required, they can be made from a
telephone in the DNA building, but will only broadcast to those
phones with backup power (DNA, most e-phones). Campus
Security, with the assistance of all available employees, will
endeavor to post notices around campus and inform people of
the closure/cancellation by cell phone and word of mouth.
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications will update
MyTrent as soon as possible once power is restored and will
deliver messages by any available means to local media
Note: If the decision is not to cancel classes or close a campus,
the Executive Director, Marketing and Communication will post
a notice on the main web page that Trent remains open.1
Campus Security or the Executive Director, Marketing and
Communications will notify the operations listed below, which
are not on the Trent ECS system.








TAS Communications
Walk-Home Program
TUEFRT
MNR
Health in Motion
CUPE
TCCBE
Peterborough Transit
via radio
via radio
via radio
If Transit advises that buses are being cancelled, Campus Security
will inform the TCSA Operations Coordinator and may use the
ECS to inform the Trent community of the impending cancellation
1
Added for clarity at request of Office of Risk Management, December 5, 2013.
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along with information as to how people can obtain transit to
town. Every effort will be made to schedule several final bus
runs to transport students, including asking Transit to arrange for
emergency snow clearance on the Trent express route.
Campus
Security/G4S
Oshawa
EMERGENCY CLOSING
Campus Security will inform the Director, Risk Management of any
emergency situations. As per the Emergency Management Plan, the
Director, Risk Management will inform the VP Finance and
Administration or Head, Trent University Durham of the
circumstances along with recommendations as to whether the
Emergency Operations Control Group (EOCG) should be convened,
classes/exams cancelled or the campus(es) closed.
In an emergency closure, Campus Security/G4S will make every
effort to ensure all non-designated individuals leave campus,
unless it is unsafe for them to do so. In such a situation the OC
Cafeteria/Durham cafeteria will remain open as a gathering
place for stranded persons until safe travel can resume. The
Great Hall Cafeteria will be a secondary gathering place.
Security will inform Chartwell’s to keep the appropriate
gathering place open until further notice.
Executive
RESUMPTION OF NORMAL OPERATIONS
Director,
Marketing and
Once the unsafe or emergency situation has passed, the
Communications Executive Director, Marketing and Communications will update
InfoTrent, Website and main university number messages to
advise that Trent is operating normally.
In the event of a Friday or weekend cancellation or closure, the
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications will make
arrangements to revise InfoTrent, Web site and main University
number messages on Saturday or Sunday as required, noting when
all University operations return to the normal weekend/weekday
schedule.
Head, Trent
University
Durham
DURHAM
Trent's classes held in Durham may be cancelled even though
Peterborough classes are not; or Peterborough classes may be
cancelled when Trent University Durham continues to operate.
The Head, Trent University Durham, will make the decision to
cancel classes or close the campus based on the same
considerations that are outlined above. The G4S guard will be
responsible to monitor weather conditions during working hours
and inform the Head if conditions become hazardous.
Once the decision to cancel classes or close the campus is made,
the Head, Trent University Durham will notify:

All Trent University Durham instructors teaching that day and
all support staff. This may be done by requiring employees to
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



Registrar
check the website, by sending emails or by calling individuals
at the A/Dean’s discretion.
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, who
will notify both Durham and Peterborough radio and television
stations.
G4S guard and Trent Campus Security, who will subsequently
notify the Director, Risk Management, who will in turn notify
the VP Academic and the VP Finance and Administration
I.T. Department
Manager, Student Services (Durham) who will contact G4S
Durham to make arrangements for additional patrols or guard
services if warranted due to a power outage.
EXAM CANCELLATIONS AND CLOSURES
In the event that the university must be closed during the exam
period the VP Finance and Administration or Head, Trent
University Durham will consider the exam schedule when making
the closure decision. If exams are to be cancelled, normally due
to inclement weather, the cancellation decision is to be made
and MyTrent updated at least three hours in advance of the exam
session(s) to be cancelled, including exams held by Student
Accessibility Services. If the forecast is uncertain, the decision
should be made as close to the three hour advance limit as
possible. The Registrar is to ensure this procedure is
communicated to students who will be advised to check MyTrent
three hours before their exam.
The Registrar is to ensure that at least one extra day, and where
possible additional days, are built into the exam schedule. The
exam schedule is to note that any cancelled exams will be
rescheduled to the last day(s) of the exam period and advise
students not to book any out of area travel until after that date.
To ensure consistent messaging, the following frequently asked
questions and answers will be posted on the Registrar’s Office
site in the portal:
Q: (student) If exams aren’t cancelled, but I cannot safely drive
to campus, or I am late due to transportation delays, what should
I do?
A: Contact your instructor to make alternative arrangements.
Students are advised to leave plenty of extra time to drive to
campus for exams, especially during inclement weather.
Q: (employee) If exams are cancelled, do I have to come to/stay
at work?
A: Yes, unless advised otherwise by your supervisor. It is your
responsibility to contact your supervisor.
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Q: (invigilator/instructor) What are my responsibilities if exams
are cancelled or the university is closed during exams?
A: If the university is closed due to inclement weather that
results in buses being cancelled and travel advisories issued by
the OPP while an exam is underway, instructors or invigilators are
responsible to bring to the attention of students the location of
emergency transportation and/or accommodations provided by
the university, which will be broadcast via the Emergency
Communication System. If the university is closed due to any
other reason, instructors or invigilators are to follow the
directions broadcast via the Emergency Communication System
and provide that information to their students.
AVP, Physical
Resources;
AVP, Students;
Head, Trent
University
Durham;
Registrar
Will provide contact phone numbers for one or more managers in
their department who will be on-call throughout the exam
period. In the event exams are cancelled, Campus Security or
G4S Durham will inform these on-call managers of the
cancellation to ensure that the exam tables set up in the gym are
not struck down until rescheduled exams have been conducted.
Date Approved
Pre-2005
Approval Authority
PVPs
Date of Commencement
2010/08/12
Amendment Dates
2010/08/12, 2013/11/05, 2014/01/07, 2014/11/18
Date for Next Review
2015/08/01
Related Policies,
Emergency Management Plan
Procedures and Guidelines
8
APPENDIX ‘C’
GUIDELINE TEMPLATE
CLASS CANCELLATIONS OR CAMPUS
CLOSURE
Contact Officer
Director, Risk Management
Purpose
To provide guidance in making a cancellation or closure decision.
Guideline
In situations where there are significant local school bus cancellations or when severe
weather does not create a safety hazard sufficient to warrant cancelation or closure, the
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications will post a notice on the main web site
that Trent University remains open.
Cancellations
Class or exam cancellations should be considered when conditions are unsafe for people to
get to campus or conditions on campus cannot support those activities (i.e. Power failure).
If Peterborough or Durham Transit has been cancelled, generally due to inclement weather,
many of our students cannot get to campus so classes or exams should be cancelled.
If there are OPP or local police travel advisories or extreme weather warnings and other
post-secondary education (PSE) institutions are cancelling classes, consideration should be
given to cancelling classes or exams.
Cancelling classes or exams is very disruptive to students and the academic mission, so the
decision to cancel should not be taken lightly. That being said, personal safety is the
primary consideration.
Weather forecasts can change significantly in a relatively short period. Accordingly,
cancellation or closure decisions should be made as close to the 2 hour (3 for exams) travel
lead time as possible to ensure the decision reflects actual conditions.
Closure
A campus would be closed if conditions on campus are unsafe for most people. Examples
might include widespread fire or flood, uncontrolled violence or extended power outages.
Campus closure is extremely disruptive as it would entail finding alternative lodging for
students or conference guests in residence.
Related Policies / Procedures
Emergency Management Plan
9
Links
Links to relevant documentation, forms, explanatory notes.
Date Approved
2013/11/05
Approval Authority
PVP
10
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Policies Superseded by This Policy