What does it mean when Dal closes?
When Dal announces that it’s closed due to weather:
- Classes are not held, and exams are cancelled and will be rescheduled.
- University buildings and services may be closed. (Residences typically remain open as does the Student Health and Wellness Centre.)
- Most faculty and staff are not required to report to work, or may leave if the closure happens during office hours. The exception(s) are employees designated as essential services who are scheduled to work (3. Essential Services) and employees who are required to work by their supervisor (4. Policy on Payment of Salary and Wages) as outlined in the Storm Closure Policy. (If you have questions about whether or not you fall into these categories, please talk to your supervisor.)
- Meetings and other scheduled events on campus may be cancelled.
A campus closure may apply separately to different campuses in Halifax and Truro. Dal closures in Halifax also apply to classes and offices at the University of King’s College.
Sometimes, the Halifax campuses and the Agricultural Campus in Truro will close only for part of the day (for example, until noon), with a time announced for when conditions will be re-evaluated and the decision updated.
The university has a number of different channels that may be used to communicate storm closures.
A DalSAFE Campus Alert may be:
- posted to dal.ca, myDal and this website
- sent via text message (you must sign up to receive these)
- sent to your dal.ca email
- sent as a notification through the DalSafe mobile app
- posted to university Twitter feeds such as @dalnews, @dalsecurity and @dalagriculture
The DalSAFE Campus Alert message will specify whether the closures apply to the Halifax campuses, the Truro campus or both.
Media outlets (radio, TV, news websites) are encouraged to share Dal’s status, and a message is also typically placed on the Dal switchboard phone line (902-494-2211). For the Agricultural Campus, you can check the emergency phone line (902-893-6027 or 877-672-2363).
In cases where Dal remains open but there may be isolated closures or cancellations on campus, the DalSAFE website may be updated should there be closures or a reduction to services at facilities such as Dalplex or the Libraries.
How and why Dal closes due to weather
The decision to close is made by the vice-president finance and administration in consultation with the university’s director of security and senior staff in Facilities Management. (In the case of a Truro closure, the decision is made by the campus principal in consultation with Security and Facilities.)
Factors considered include:
- current and forecasted weather conditions
- feedback from Facilities Management on the condition of campus roads, sidewalks and entrances
- status of roads and public transit more generally
- disadvantages of sending individuals back into the weather once they have arrived on campus, as well as consideration to the anticipated conditions during commute periods
In the event of a closure before the start of regular office hours, the university will make and communicate the decision by 6 a.m. If a closure takes place during office hours, Dal will announce the time at which classes are cancelled and employees are excused to depart. (Where possible, this will be at least one hour prior to the cancellation going into effect.)
If Dal remains open but you have concerns about your ability to make it to campus, please contact your professor or, for employees, your supervisor.