Driving became difficult on Monday morning as a result of icy weather and frosty temperatures. Although the university decided Sunday evening to delay opening the next day until 10 a.m., re-evaluation of the weather conditions resulted in a snow day for ACU.
“No one person makes that decision, but a campus weather advisory board gathers information from various sources and makes a collective decision either late the night before or very early in the morning,” said Lt. Randy Motz of the ACU Police Department. “Some items of consideration are current road conditions, police reports of vehicles colliding or running off the road, the potential for conditions to worsen or remain severe for an extended period of time and what local school districts have decided in regards to late openings or closure.”
The ACU weather advisory board does not give out snow days lightly, said assistant ACU police chief Randy Motz. Much consideration is given to determine what conditions are suitable, he said.
Motz stressed that it is not snow which triggers a late opening or closure but icy conditions that pose a serious safety risk to the ACU community.
“The police department monitors the roads around campus and the campus itself,” Motz said. “They also listen to the Abilene Police Department radio traffic, how many wrecks are there, what are the traffic conditions and, of course, looking at the weather.”
Motz also said they take into consideration what Abilene Independent School District, Wylie Independent School District and Dyess Air Force Base are doing. By observing different key establishments around the city, ACU’s weather advisory board can determine what actions should be taken in delaying classes or closing campus altogether.
The snow day wasn’t all fun and games, though. The library opened at 11 a.m., and many students made the trek to study. Macie Liptoi, junior worship ministry major from Plano, was one of those students.
“I’m going to use this time to be productive, because when do we ever have a day that we don’t have anything to do as a college student?” Liptoi said. “Not very often, so I’m going to have fun and study.”
“I’m really thankful that we got the day off,” she said. “I’m also really appreciative of all the people doing their jobs; all the grounds crew who salted the sidewalks, the police officers who continually keep us safe and all the dining service employees who kept everyone fed. I know they’re also concerned about the weather, but they still showed up to do their job, so I’m very thankful for them today.”