Policy 1028 - Emergency School Closing

Section: Operating/Administrative
Policy Number: 1028
Responsible Office: Public Safety
Effective Date: 12/5/00
Clarified: 9/1/02; 4/17/07; 2/15/10
Revised: 2/27/03; 10/25/06; 3/1/08; 8/27/08; 4/1/09; 2/11/15; 6/20/23


In the event it becomes necessary to close the University because of an emergency or extraordinary event, such as severe winter weather, a decision will be made by the Executive Emergency Management Team and notice of such a closing or a delayed opening will be communicated using the University's emergency notification messaging system and social media channels, as appropriate. Public Safety determines when to deploy the emergency notification system and how the message is communicated – via voicemail, text, email and/or website messaging. Media Relations and Marketing & Communications departments provide support through social media.

In order to receive an emergency text message and voice mail when the MIIR3 system is activated, employees must enroll via SignOn in the UIS app. Once in UIS, go to the Personal Information tab and click “Update your Emergency Notification Information for Instant Messaging.” The messages will communicate what emergency currently exists, the location of the emergency, and advise a course of action. There will be updates issued as the emergency situation evolves.

  • The phone number (718) 990-2000 will carry detailed information. Please do not call the Office of Public Safety on any of the St. John’s campuses, as these calls tie up the lines for safety emergencies.
  • The St. John’s website (www.stjohns.edu) will carry a written notice with the same updated information as provided by phone.
  • Area television and radio stations will include St. John’s University in their listing of school closings and delayed openings. These include WINS 1010 AM and WCBS 880 AM, which make recurring announcements throughout the day, usually beginning around 5 a.m.
  • Text and voice messaging may be employed in case of an emergency on or around one or more St. John’s campuses.
  • Should the decision to close the University occur during the work/school day, other means of communication may also be used. These include the Audix phone system, email and the campus digital signage.

If the emergency occurs during business hours, senior management will make a decision on the best time to close based on the emergency conditions, class schedules, exams and other scheduled University functions, which will be communicated via the channels as outlined above.

Compensation for Administrators and Staff: Employees who were scheduled to work receive regular compensation for time lost due to an emergency school closing or a delayed opening/early dismissal. Part-time and temporary employees are also compensated if they were scheduled to work on the day of the closing. Employees who had scheduled time off from work on the day of the school closing would not be affected by the closing and, therefore, their time would remain charged as paid time off or leave, as appropriate. Employees with hybrid work arrangements are expected to perform work at their remote work location.

Compensation for Student Workers: Because the Federal Work Study Program requires that students actually perform work in order to earn wages, the University cannot compensate student employees for time lost due to an emergency school closing, delayed opening or early dismissal. Supervisors of student workers are encouraged to provide their students with the opportunity to make up missed hours of work. This compensation policy applies to both regular student workers and those performing work under a work-study grant.

When an early dismissal is announced, employees who can leave early may do so. No compensatory time is granted to those who remain at work. Similarly, no compensatory time is granted in the case of a delayed opening when an employee reports to work earlier than the delayed opening time.

Essential Personnel: When University offices are closed or a delayed opening or early dismissal is announced due to an emergency such as severe weather, certain essential employees are requested to report as usual. These include, but may not be limited to, Public Safety officers, animal facility caretakers, administrative employees in Facilities Services, and other positions as determined by department supervisors.

St. John's University, New York
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