Written by: John Preer
For the second consecutive day VSU will close its doors as winter weather storm Leon continues to paralyze many southern states in the country. However, Valdosta seems to be catching a break from the really severe weather. Besides the occasional gust of flurries and freezing rain, the city hasn’t fully experienced the kinds of conditions that have many civilians stranded and in need of rescue.
Contrary to earlier reports from VSU administration, the university will not be open for operations on Thursday Jan. 30. All classes and administrative offices will be closed.
However “there will be police and essential personnel on call to keep the university operating,” said Thressea Boyd, Director of Communications.
Some students may have concerns about possible mandatory make up days because of the shutdown, but rest assured no extra class days are in the foreseeable future.
“There is no such thing as a ‘make up day’ and I leave the means of making up instructional time in the hands of each individual faculty member,” said President William J. McKinney.
Stranded motorists throughout the region have been forced to take shelter in stores, churches, and fire stations while hundreds of students had to spend the night in cold gymnasiums. Major highways have become icy parking lots full of commuters who have run out of gas, stalled out, or just couldn’t navigate the slippery roadways.
Many states that have been affected by the weather don’t have adequate equipment to properly deal with these kinds of conditions. The hopes of seeing some reprieve from the icy roads slowly fades as temperatures across the region aren’t expected to get above freezing for very long if at all.
Because of these projected conditions VSU administration is erring on the side of caution and closing down in order to keep students and faculty from having to commute to campus and risk the hazards of slick roads.
During moments of severe weather, communication is crucial and VSU has a system in place to provide quick and accurate updates. Students and faculty will be contacted through campus alert, which sends notifications via email and text message, concerning any developments in the weather and operation status of the university.
Students are urged to avoid driving if at all possible and monitor the local weather stations and VSU media outlets to stay informed about developing conditions and notifications from the university.