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Severe Weather

Potsdam sometimes experiences severe weather conditions, especially during the winter months, when heavy snowfall and icy roads can be a safety concern.

In general, as a residential campus, SUNY Potsdam tries to maintain classes and services as fully operational as possible. Members of the campus community should always assume that scheduled classes and events are continuing, unless you hear otherwise.

Safety tips

  • Take your time: Take extra caution on snowy or icy roads and sidewalks. Give yourself extra time, going slowly on slippery surfaces or in low visibility conditions. Before driving, warm up your car and clear all the snow from your vehicle.
  • Trust your judgment: People traveling from off campus should use their best judgment to decide whether it is safe to be on the road.
    • Commuter students should consult with their professors, to make arrangements for any absences.
    • Employees who choose to stay home must use accruals and check in with their supervisors.
    • Faculty members who wish to cancel their own classes due to weather should inform students following the same procedure they use if they are ill.
  • Be prepared: Bundle up - layers are best! Don't forget about good winter footwear, hats and gloves or mittens on long walks to and from campus. Make sure your car doesn't get too low on fuel, and always keep an extra snow brush and a blanket in the trunk of your vehicle.

Class cancellation information

What happens when classes are canceled?

Just that… classes are canceled for the time period indicated. Faculty and commuter students are advised not to travel to campus.

Is everything canceled when classes are canceled?

No! Other events and services can and may still continue (e.g., athletic events, performances, student activities, dining services, mailroom hours, etc.). You should contact event organizers or the associated campus offices to find out. To be connected to the correct department, check our online directory or call the switchboard at (315) 267-2000 during office hours. Here are some regularly contacted areas:

SUNY Potsdam only announces cancellations if all classes on campus are affected. Faculty members may choose to cancel their own classes due to weather. If so, they will inform students directly, following the same procedure they use if they are ill.

Where can I eat on campus when classes are canceled?

PACES Dining Services has a schedule for opening hours, depending on when and what time classes are canceled. You can see the inclement weather schedule here.

When will we find out if classes are canceled?

Again, always assume that classes are continuing, unless you hear otherwise. We try to decide by 6 a.m. about either canceling just morning classes or all classes for the day. We try to decide by noon about canceling afternoon or evening classes. Once the decision is made, we send messages to campus as quickly as we can.

How do we find out about class cancellations?

Update your contact info in Potsdam Rave Alert! This is our emergency alert system and it’s the first thing we use to communicate cancellations. You can add cell phone numbers and additional email addresses. You’ll get text messages and emails when classes are canceled. You can also add our Rave Guardian campus safety app to your smartphone, so you can get push notifications too (along with other safety features).

SUNY Potsdam also posts information about class cancellations on our website and on our social media channels. We also send notices to local news media. This process can take a while, and there can sometimes be technical issues, so we recommend checking multiple sources if you are unsure.

Which media sources should I check for class cancellations?