Update: The MLK Remembrance & Rededication Ceremony will go on as scheduled as 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31 in Cordier Auditorium.

Because of bitterly cold weather in the forecast, Manchester University is canceling classes and will have only essential student services until the weather improves. The following is an email from Clair Knapp, chief business officer and vice president for finance, on Monday evening to students, faculty and staff.

Dear students, faculty and staff,

As we begin Spring Semester, we are going to experience some dangerously cold temperatures. Because there is nothing more important than your health and safety, please read this email carefully to review how we will navigate this serious – if short-lived – arctic blast.

Due to the extreme weather, both campuses of Manchester University will be closed from 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29 until Friday morning, Feb. 1. Classes are canceled and extra-curricular activities are canceled. There will be no athletic competitions or practices Tuesday through Wednesday night. Competitions for Thursday evening may be rescheduled, when it’s supposed to be warmer. Only safety and food service personnel should report to work. Pharmacy students should not report to their rotations. We will resume regular business hours on Friday. 
Classes will be in session Tuesday, Jan. 29, until 5 p.m.  All classes after 5 p.m. Tuesday will be cancelled. Classes will resume the normal schedule on Friday, Feb. 1.

If there are any updates that we need to share, we will communicate them by email and Spartan Alert texts. The North Manchester inclement weather phone line is 260-982-5686. The Fort Wayne number is 260-470-2686.

Meals will continue to be served in Haist Commons for students living on the North Manchester campus. The PERC will be closed. The main part of Funderburg Library will be closed, but the entry to Wilbur’s will be open. The Science Center, the Academic Center and Winger will be open for limited use.

Safety and food service personnel will report to work to meet the needs of our residential students. All hourly staff employees will be paid what they normally would have earned during the closure. Human Resources will send a separate email explaining how to indicate those hours in ADP. 
The National Weather Service is predicting overnight low temperatures of approximately 15 degrees below zero. It’s also supposed to be windy, meaning the wind chill (the way it feels) may drop to 40 degrees below zero or colder.

Please use good judgment about staying safe. Do not drive unless it is an absolute emergency. If you go anywhere, make sure your phone is charged and that someone else knows your route and schedule. In extremely cold temperatures, the salt and sand mixture that crews use to treat roads is largely ineffective, so SLOW DOWN and give yourself plenty of time to and distance to brake.

If you walk between buildings, it’s still important to dress appropriately. Wear warm, waterproof footwear if possible. Mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves and a hat will help reduce heat loss. Because frostbite can occur when skin is exposed to wind chills below minus 18 for as little as 10 minutes, cover has much of your skin as possible. 

For more information, we’ve assembled links that offer advice on what to wear, how to be safe on the road and other general cold-weather safety precautions. Read them here

For residential students in North Manchester, you can help our heating systems work at full capacity by keeping windows and doors closed tight. Closing curtains and blinds will help hold in the heat. While it is not likely, on the off chance that a residence hall gets too cold, hall staff will give directions. 

The good news is that this arctic blast is not expected to last long. The forecast calls for highs in the 30s on Saturday and in the 40s on Sunday. 

In the meantime, stay safe and inside as much as possible.

Clair W. Knapp CPA, CGMA, MBA
Chief Business Officer and Vice President for Finance