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Update: Campus reopens Thursday for classes, business

December 10, 2009

10 a.m. update: Given the size of campus, some slick or snowy spots still exist. Help Physical Plant learn of problem areas by emailing with specific details of streets, parking lots or sidewalks that need attention.

6 a.m. Thursday update: The UW–Madison campus is open for classes and normal business.  A Snow Action Day has been declared to assist crews in removing snow.  On campus roadways are in good winter driving condition.  All sidewalks and entrances are in good winter condition but caution should be used in these areas.  All parking lots have been plowed but snow piles remain. Weather conditions are unseasonably cold and windy, please dress appropriately.

5:10 p.m. update: The University of Wisconsin–Madison campus will reopen for classes and normal business, Thursday, Dec. 10.

Faculty, staff and students are urged to use caution when traveling to and from campus. Campus roads, sidewalks and parking lots are passable, though there will be some slick spots, along with piled snow.

Students: Students who feel it is unsafe to travel to campus should contact their professors or teaching assistants about making up missed class time. Professors and teaching assistants are asked to be flexible in dealing with student requests.

However, academic operations should be fully restored and further information about academic expectations has been posted from the Provost’s Office.

Should faculty or instructional staff make individual decisions to cancel class meetings Thursday, every effort should be made to notify students and department offices of these changes.

Faculty and staff: Unless directed otherwise, all UW–Madison employees are expected to return to work as scheduled. Each employee is expected to use judgment in determining if travel is safe. An employee who reasonably determines that travel would not be safe will not be subject to discipline for not reporting to work.

Supervisors are expected to honor the reasonable requests of employees to arrive late or to leave early because of inclement weather. Employees are expected to make a reasonable effort to notify their supervisors if they cannot report to work or will report late.

Employees who are absent from work because of the inclement weather normally must use available annual leave (vacation), available holidays, leave without pay, or when appropriate, accrued compensatory time to cover the absence or must arrange with the supervisor to make up the time.

Find additional details on human resources polices related to inclement weather.

Campus services, transit and safety: Most campus services are expected to reopen Thursday, however, it is possible some events may continue to be impacted. Anyone planning to attend events on campus today is encouraged to call ahead to ensure programs are continuing. Updates will be posted to as they are available.

Be advised, falling temperatures and blowing snow are expected. In all cases use common sense and think of safety first.

Although many sidewalks, building entrances, and parking lots have been plowed, surface conditions will remain unpredictable and access may be restricted in some campus areas through Thursday. Campus members with mobility or visual disabilities are encouraged to exercise caution in deciding whether to come to campus on Thursday. Personal safety should be a primary consideration over class attendance or work schedule.

Students with disabilities who remain at home should contact their faculty regarding class absence. They can also contact their accommodation specialist at the McBurney Center. Employees should contact their supervisor to discuss access to individual buildings and parking lots and any assistance that may be needed to return to work.

If you’re on foot, be sure to dress appropriately or if driving carry a survival kit. Find more forecast and safety details.

Madison Metro buses are expected to resume operations, but may have delays. Visit the Madison Metro Web site for updates.

More info on roadways from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation

If your question or issue is not covered above, please email

3 p.m. update: UWPD estimates 3,000 students have gathered on Bascom Hill this afternoon for a Lakeshore-Southeast snowball fight. The event has been successful, with few minor injuries reported.

2 p.m. update: Game on! Men’s basketball will play its game this evening versus UW-Green Bay at the Resch Center in Green Bay. Details via

1:50 p.m. update: Another Snow Action Day has been declared for the UW–Madison campus for Thursday, Dec. 10. The designation affects parking and snow removal– it does not have an impact on classes or normal campus business. More information about Thursday will be posted as it becomes available.

1:40 p.m. update: A snow emergency remains in effect in the the City of Madison. Learn more about city parking restrictions.

1 p.m. update: Pools at the Nat and SERF are now open at RecSports.

11:40 p.m. update: Message to Physical Plant employees: All essential Physical Plant employees, whose duties include snow removal or heating plant operation, should report to work at their regularly scheduled time or as directed by their supervisor. Essential employees include: Grounds, Custodial, Campus Services– FRW’s and Heating Plant Operators.

11:30 a.m. update: RecSports will reopen at noon for use of the Nat, SERF and Shell. Pools are now open.

The Student Activity Center will also be open 12-9 p.m., unless conditions worsen.

11 a.m. update: UHS will remain closed today. Urgent medical advice is available from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. by calling (608) 265-5600. In case of medical emergency, call 911.

Mental health crisis intervention services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling (608) 265-5600.

10:45 a.m. update: Madison Metro is cancelling service for the day.

8:35 a.m. update: UW Health Clinics closed today, UW Hospital open:

Due to hazardous road conditions and severe weather, all UW Health clinics are closed today, Wed. December 9. Patients who may have had scheduled appointments today should call their clinic tomorrow to check about rescheduling.

For patients at UW Health Wisconsin Dialysis, Wisconsin Dialysis remains open today.

Employees who are based at UW Health clinics operated by UW Medical Foundation, UW Hospital and Clinics and the UW Department of Family medicine should plan on continuing normal business hours on Thursday, Dec. 10. All UW Medical Foundation adminsitative offices will be closed and employees should stay home.

UWHC employees who are not clinic-based should plan on coming in to work, roads permitting. They may call (608) 265-7332 for updates or contact their manager for detailed instructions.

8:30 a.m. update: Statement from the State of Wisconsin and Governor Jim Doyle:

In response to the blizzard that has impacted the state, Gov. Jim Doyle has ordered the closure of all state government and University of Wisconsin campuses for public business. The Governor’s order directs that state employees are not to report to work, unless their job duties include the provision or support of an emergency response, public health or public safety function, and their absence would compromise delivery of essential public health, public safety or emergency response functions that are required to continue despite weather conditions.

8 a.m. update: All RecSports facilities are closed today as well.

7:30 a.m. update: Additional updates about campus services:

–The Wisconsin Union will be closed today. This includes Memorial Union, the Breese Terrace Union and satellite deli operations. In addition, the Tudor Dinners for tonight are canceled. Refunds are available by calling the box office at (608) 265-2787.

–Campus SAFEwalk is scheduled to be open from 7 p.m.-1 a.m. SAFEride Cab is expected to offer SAFErides tonight during normal operating hours. Call (608) 262-5000 starting at 7 p.m. for information.

–The opening of UHS is delayed due to weather. For urgent medical concerns, call (608) 265-5600, or in the event of a medical emergency, call 911. Mental health and crisis services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call (608) 265-5600 and press option 9. You can make certain types of appointments online through your MyUHS account. Otherwise, please call back to make an appointment.

–If you require access to a locked UW–Madison building and are either an essential employee or are authorized by your supervisor to be there, call UWPD at (608) 264-COPS and ask for assistance.

7 a.m. Wednesday Update: UW–Madison classes are cancelled Wednesday and non-essential employees are asked not to report to work today. According to UWPD, campus roads and sidewalks are largely passable, but students, faculty and staff are advised to use extreme caution walking or driving and stay off the roads if at all possible. Power is on around campus, after several sporadic outages during the night.

Numerous campus services are closed as a result of the blizzard. They including campus Libraries and Unions.

Madison Metro is not running until later today when it is safer to drive on city streets. Visit Metro’s site to get service updates. This page will be updated to reflect up-to-date closing info.

Get the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.


8 p.m. Tuesday: In light of blizzard warnings for Madison and Dane County, Chancellor Biddy Martin has canceled classes and asked all non-essential university employees to stay home on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

“The safety of our students, faculty and staff is paramount,” Martin says. “I encourage the campus community to stay off the roads on Wednesday. We hope to return to normal university business on Thursday.”

Current forecasts are calling for snow all night, with gusting winds and total accumulations ranging from 12-16 inches before Wednesday night.

Despite the Wednesday closing, critical campus services will be maintained. These areas include public safety, snow removal, animal care, patient care and University Housing.

If you work in one of these areas, or in a department or unit that has designated you as an essential employee, please plan to report, if possible. If you are unable to travel due to the inclement weather, contact your supervisor.

Please note, all employees of University Housing are deemed essential and should report if possible, or refer to Housing inclement weather policies.

Non-essential personnel are encouraged to stay at home to help facilitate the efficient clearing of streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. An individual who needs to work on authorized activities and who can reach the campus safely, may report to work with supervisory permission.

Additional updates will be posted as they are available. Should you still plan to come to campus, visit the following resources:

Madison Metro buses are running.

Find more information on roadways from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Tags: weather