Russell C. Carey, Executive Vice President of Planning and Policy, doesn’t cancel school for a bit of snow, even if it comes with an 800-signature petition. This winter, though, a pair of blizzards have forced Carey to call two snow days, catapulting him into the spotlight and making him one of the most popular administrators on campus. I sat down with Carey to talk snow days and the possibility of a 2016 Presidential campaign.
BlogDH: What exactly is the job of the Executive Vice President, Planning and Policy?
Carey: I have responsibility for campus safety and chair the Core Crisis Tea. For example, public safety reports to me. I oversee the team that really manages and responds to major crises, including winter weather. And certainly the blizzard at the beginning of January was in that category.
BlogDH: How do you decide when to call a snow day?
Carey: We gather a lot of information. We subscribe to a weather service that gives us very accurate weather information. Even several days out from a storm people are watching those forecasts. A key priority is: Is it safe? The January blizzard was clearly a life-threatening situation, but it can vary a lot depending on timing and accumulation. There’s just basic set of considerations. Is it possible to operate? Is the weather such that people that have to commute to campus can do so? Is there a parking ban? What’s the ability of the staff to clear the campus before classes begin? It’s very weather and day specific.
BlogDH: Would say that student petitions, for example, have negligible impact on your decision to call a snow day?
The SciLi during Juno, the last time classes were cancelled.
As the bombardment of snow continues, Russell Carey and the rest of the Brown community cede to the weather by canceling classes. If you haven’t played in the snow these last two blizzards, tomorrow is your chance to shine. Actually though, consider wearing sunglasses; this winter wonderland is reflective as heck.
This blizzard is supposed to be a long one, with snowfall continuing into Tuesday, and cold temperatures all of this week. The Ratty will most likely be the only dining facilities open tomorrow, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m, but check the BDS website for later information. A city wide parking ban goes into effect at midnight. Here’s a word on missing class from the announcement email:
We understand missing a second day of classes this early in the semester is disruptive for faculty and students, and we do not make this decision lightly. However, we believe doing so is prudent given the anticipated conditions – especially during the morning and evening commutes tomorrow – and the driving, parking and walking conditions around the campus due to the record snowfalls to date this season. The Dean of the College will follow-up with faculty this week regarding options to make-up missed class time this semester.
Ahem, let’s all try and ignore that bit about ‘make-up missed class time’ for now and just enjoy the two long weekends in a row that we’ve been blessed with.
I spent my snow day(s) in my room catching up on work and singing along at the top of my lungs to this during my multiple daily showers, but apparently there were actually entertaining things to do over the weekend outside of the 4th floor of Champlin. For those of you who spent your weekend like I did, here’s a chance to live vicariously through the snow day adventures of the BlogDH panel. -David Oyer
Julius Caesar Marcus Aurelius spent his snow day riding a horse. How original.
Snowball Fighting and Sledding Lily and I hobbled around the Main Green, I with my fractured toe and she with her sprained knee, for the epic snowball fight. Then we went sledding at India Point Park. Once I regained feeling in my extremities, I made some peppermint hot chocolate and then traipsed back through the knee-deep snow to a whiskey potluck. The next day was more of the same, plus free Ratty and sledding down the awesome hills at Moses Brown. Definitely some of my favorite days so far at Brown, and only in small part because of the novelty of a snow day. [Actually I got the sprained knee when a friend bodyslammed me into a half-constructed snow fort.-Lily Goodspeed] -Remy Robert
Makeshift Downhill Skiing
My friend Brady decided to ski down the staircase on Meeting Street and go off a jump he fashioned out of the hood of a partially submerged car. This video has already racked up 60 likes on his Facebook, so he is killing.
We suffered through a brutal weekend of 18 inches of snow, power outages, and crazy Ratty mobs. Here’s our Nemo soundtrack:
Jam of the Week – Chromeo – Don’t Turn the Lights On
Dear people who live on Thayer St, sorry your power went out.
Love, people who live on Governor St.
Alternative – Oh Land – White Nights
Oh Land was a professional ballerina when she broke her back…. so she casually became a beautiful singer. NBD. (via her wikipedia page). This song is such a snow frolicking song!