Administration stresses importance of weather policy

Jessie Goodson, Campus Carrier News Editor

With the recent hurricane and class cancellation last Monday, many students have become concerned about Berry’s weather policies.

Since Berry is a majority residential college, the administration tries to stay open and can withstand heavier weather than most schools.

“Berry College administration will do their best to keep the college open,” Assistant Vice President for Campus Security and Emergency Response Management Gary Will said.

But in cases like Monday, when the Rome area is under a state of emergency, Berry decides to cancel classes and close the campus.

Will said that Berry has a representative that attends monthly meetings with the Rome-Floyd County Local Planning Committee. This committee meets regularly to discuss weather and policies regarding the safety of Rome and Floyd County. 

On Tuesday, our county was no longer under a state of emergency, and no severe damage was done during the hurricane, so classes and operations resumed as normal. 

Berry may choose to stay open even if surrounding schools close, but if Rome/Floyd County schools close, Berry’s elementary and middle schools will as well. 

“Students need to be aware of the weather policy,” Will said.

The Berry weather policy can be found on the college’s website. Will said that Berry relies solely on the National Weather Service for their decisions, and President Briggs has the final say in campus closings and class cancellations. Announcements are made on Berry’s website, via email, BerryALERT and local media. 

It is also considered a “storm ready” campus, along with over 100 other sites in Georgia. 

According to the National Weather Service, being “storm ready” requires that the community must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center, have more than one way to receive weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public, create a system that monitors weather conditions locally, promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars and develop a formal hazardous weather plan that includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises. 

“Outside of education, we want to keep people safe,” Will said. 

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