Severe Weather

Notification Plan for Winona Campus

The safety of our campus community is our top priority.

In the event of severe weather, WSU students, faculty and staff are urged to make cautious decisions regarding travel. If you feel the weather is too threatening, contact your professors and/or supervisors and explain your situation.

Class cancellations or campus closures due to cold weather, winter ice and/or snow are rare for Winona State University. Because our campus in Winona is a residential student campus, it is always open to students residing on campus no matter how severe the weather.

This means that the University will make every attempt to continue to provide vital services such as Dining Services, Health Services, Housing and Residence Life, Physical Plant and Public Safety, as well as to keep the Library, Integrated Wellness Complex and other campus buildings open during severe weather.

Due to the uniqueness of the University's operations, it is quite possible WSU will hold classes on days when the public schools in the area are closed.

Similarly, closing decisions for WSU-Rochester are made independently from the Winona campus, as WSU-Rochester shares facilities with Rochester Community and Technical College and operates primarily as a commuter campus.  

Winter weather conditions may cause individual class and/or event cancellations even though the campus remains open. It is up to faculty and event organizers whether to cancel their classes or events due to weather.

While official closings of the university occur only rarely, there are sometimes very severe weather conditions that may cause the delay or cancellation of classes, or even the closure of the Winona campus.

In general, these decisions will be guided by the condition of major roadways leading to campus, by the condition of campus roadways and sidewalks, and by our ability to shovel our parking lots.

In the case of severe winter weather conditions, WSU administration may choose to:

  • cancel morning or evening classes
  • cancel all classes
  • cancel non-academic activities
  • close the University

The WSU homepage is the official source for information on closings and cancellations.

If there are any weather-related cancellations, an initial campus-wide notice will be sent with a list of cancelled classes and/or events posted in an orange "Severe Weather Alert" banner on the WSU homepage.

Students will also receive an individual message to their WSU email account when a specific class for which they are registered has been cancelled.

Bad weather may force event organizers to cancel an event or activity scheduled during evening hours or over the weekend.

If possible, the event sponsor should contact the University Communications Office at 507.457.5024 ahead of time if inclement weather is predicted.

When the final decision is made to cancel the event or activity, the sponsor should call WSU Security at 507.457.5555 to provide event details such as time, location and any rescheduling/ticketing information.

The University Communications Office will post notice of such cancellations in an orange “Severe Weather Alert” section on the WSU homepage.

You may also consider sending an all employees email.

Because WSU is primarily a residential student campus, closings are rare. The campus may close when weather conditions are extreme and pose a serious danger for travel in the area.

Campus-wide Announcements

The information will be announced publicly on the WSU homepage, via WSU email, various media resources and WSU's emergency notification system. In the case of imminent adverse weather conditions—such as a tornado or flood advisory—additional communication methods may be used to notify campus.

When the campus is officially closed, all classes, events and extracurricular activities are cancelled. The decision to close Winona State University-Rochester is made independent of the Winona campus.

Please note that WSU only announces closings or cancellations. If you hear nothing about WSU being closed, assume the campus is open and classes are being held as scheduled.

The decision to cancel all classes or close the Winona campus is typically made by 6am. The decision to cancel evening classes is typically made by 3pm.

WSU faculty members cancel their classes online via a program available across desktops and mobile devices.

The cancellation will prompt an automatic confirmation email to the faculty member as well as to the students enrolled in the cancelled class. The notice will also be added to the list of cancelled classes linked from the orange "Severe Weather Alert" banner on the WSU homepage.

Faculty members without internet access may contact their office manager and provide name, verification and course information.