Catholic University Closed on Account of Winter Storm Stella

by Sarah Donofrio
       The Catholic University of America closed on Tuesday, March 14 due to inclement weather. The announcement was made the night before at 9:30pm, as the Washington D.C. metropolitan area was initially anticipated to receive up to 10 inches of snow.
      The snow began to blanket campus around 8pm on Monday night, and reached approximately two to three inches by morning. Areas outside Washington, D.C. received over 10 inches, while the White House reported receiving 2.5 inches.
       Due to the storm, all campus events were cancelled or rescheduled. The Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center Food Court and John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library closed, while the Student Restaurant and the P.O.D. maintained regular business hours. The Metrorail System began clearing snow as the storm entered the region. The trains operated on a Saturday schedule on Tuesday, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
As a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, the Catholic University of America follows a group of schools in declaring the cancellation of classes and closure of the University.
       “We belong to the Consortium and monitor the weather with the other universities,” said Executive Director of University Communications, Elise Italiano.  “Our Department of Public Safety, Office of Facilities, Planning, and Management, and the University Provost all talk based on what the consortium is doing. They determine what to do based on safety, emergency weather reports, and the safety of students and faculty traveling to and from campus, which is the primary reason we would make a decision.”
       Due to the anticipated nature of Winter Storm Stella, the announcement was made the night before via an email from University Communication.
      “They notify the Office of Communication and we allow the students to know. If they make it early enough, then we can commit the night before. If not, a conference call occurs at around 4am the morning of, and inform the University by 5am,” said Italiano.
        While the University received a modest amount of snow, students appreciated the only snow day in the academic year thus far.
        “The storm was not as bad as I thought it would be. Most of the snow began to melt by noon. It was a lot worse in the Northeast,” said freshman nursing major Colette Kurland. “It was nice to have a day to relax, though. This is the only snow day we’ve had this year.”
        Other students took advantage of the storm and the break from classes to embrace the winter weather.
         “I went sledding across the law school lawn on a pool float,” said freshman Deanna Reder. “The storm wasn’t as bad as they said it was going to be, and it was otherwise a productive day.”
          On Thursday, the Office of Facilities announced via email that the Caldwell Lobby/Auditorium is temporarily closed due to snow and ice falling from the roof. Due to the damage, the handicap ramp into Caldwell is also closed. The email encouraged people with disabilities to contact the Office of Facilities for assistance entering into the building.
          It is expected that the temperature this weekend will range from the 40s to 50s. At the time of publishing, there is no snow anticipated.

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