Despite the campus threat status level being raised to the yellow position Thursday Feb. 26, campus activity continued on as normal.
After a swift-moving Wednesday night snowfall resulting in less than two inches of compactable snow on most Cookeville roads and sidewalks, the campus was placed on a code yellow warning.
According to a Feb. 26 University press release, the campus would remain open Thursday on a regular schedule; however, members of the campus community were encouraged to use their own judgment on the situation of safety when traveling to campus.
The release went on to say that students would not be penalized for missing classes Thursday if they felt travel was out of their ability and that they would be allowed to make up any class assignments missed. Employees, on the other hand, would be charged leave time, the release said.
According to Karen Lykins, associate vice president for communications and marketing, the color-code system was put into place in mid-February 2015 to communicate campus closure in the result of inclement weather or any other threatening event on campus. Lykins said that the senior University administration and the deans of each college were consulted when making the decision to change the threat level of the campus.
According to the University website, the code is as follows:
- Green – Open on regular schedule
- Yellow – Open on regular schedule, but students and employees should use their own judgment as to whether it is safe for them to travel to the campus. Students will not be penalized for missing class and will be allowed to make up any class assignments missed. Employees will be charged leave according to policy.
- Orange – No classes, but employees will report for work. Employees should use their own judgment as to whether it is safe for them to travel to campus. Employees will be charged leave according to policy.
- Red – The campus is closed except for emergency personnel. Emergency personnel include Campus Police, Facilities personnel, Dining Services personnel, Residential Life personnel and Health Services personnel.
Despite the code yellow campus status, the previously scheduled career fair took place as planned.
Some faculty members disagree with the University’s ruling to adjust the campus schedule.
“The ‘Code Yellow’ designation is a joke,” said English Adjunct Professor Chuck Acheson. “The last time Tech enacted a similar policy, I was an assistant instructor for a composition course. We had 10 of our 25 students attend, eight of whom were commuters. Of our 15 on-campus students, only two felt they could make it to class for whatever reason.”