College closes early due to inclement weather


Photo: Beacon Archives

Emerson’s campus was blanketed in snow.

By Parker Purifoy, Emerson '21

All classes after 2 p.m. were canceled and the college closed early on Feb. 12 due to a winter storm that could bring up to seven inches of snow over the next 24 hours, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Vice President and Dean of Campus Life James Hoppe said he was unsure if makeup days would be necessary following the college’s closure. Previously, during a snowstorm last year on March 12, the college closed and scheduled a makeup day for March 31, a Saturday.

The college sent an email to notify the student body at 11 a.m. that the school might close early, and finalized the closure at around 12 p.m. According to the alert, the administrative offices closed at 3 p.m.

Hoppe said several department heads within the college met the morning of Feb. 12 to determine if a cancellation should occur.

The department heads include Director of Emergency Management Chris Beaurpere, Emerson College Police Department Chief Robert Smith, Associate Vice President for Real Estate Arthur Mombourquette, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Anne Doyle, Assistant Vice President Anne Shaughnessy, and Hoppe.

Suffolk University and Berklee College of Music canceled all of their classes for Feb. 12 and according to the college’s twitter account, Northeastern University closed at 4:30 p.m. Associate Dean for Campus Life Erik Muurisepp said the weather forecast indicated the snow would begin to fall around 2 p.m., so the college did not see a need to cancel classes before that time.

Former Registrar William DeWolf told the Beacon in March 2018 that there is little to no flexibility in Emerson’s academic schedule because courses already meet the minimal amount of classroom time for federal financial aid guidelines.

“It is a complex decision that relies on a number of different factors,” Muurisepp said in a phone interview. “On a day like today, the college will evaluate the conditions and try to do their best to keep the students safe while maximizing academic time.”