Feb. 2 saw the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) first snow day of the spring semester, with operations curtailed from 5 p.m. on Feb. 1 to 4 a.m. on Feb. 3.
Curtailed operations at UNH are put into place to keep students and faculty off the roads and sidewalks around the campus for safety and also to allow for easier snow removal. As a result, many day-to-day university services have decreased hours or are shut down.
Dining: All dining halls are affected by curtailment, but dining services are still available as the students living on campus need places to eat. Stillings Hall is closed during curtailment, but Holloway Commons and Philbrook Hall remain open with reduced hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Outside of a pandemic, all other campus cafés and stores are closed, but currently, none are open due to COVID-19.
Classes: With the much-increased use of online learning due to COVID-19, curtailment has less of an impact on the academic side of life now. In UNH Police Chief Paul Dean’s email regarding curtailment on Feb. 1, he confirmed that “while in-person classes will not occur in the event of curtailment, classes may proceed virtually.” This means that classes already online could continue, and in-person classes could proceed online. Dean’s email added that it was “up to each faculty member to decide” whether to move forward with holding class, so monitoring emails and Canvas notifications is key.
Transportation: Getting around campus is usually pretty simple, with buses running along multiple routes every five to ten minutes. During curtailments, however, all buses stop running.
Parking: There is already a winter parking ban in effect, which goes from Jan. 1 to April 1 and bans parking in most campus lots between midnight and 6 a.m. However, when curtailment (or a “snow emergency”) is in place, even more lots are closed. When there is a full snow parking ban in effect, the only lots that are open all night are the Gables, Woodside, West Edge, Mast Road Mathes, and E Lots, all lots which require a semester-long permit to be displayed 24/7. The only lots that are open all night with no permit required are the Sage Way Visitor Lot and Section 4 of A Lot. All other parking lots either close at midnight or 2 a.m., rules that are in place regardless of snow.
Testing: The submission of COVID-19 tests is also impacted by curtailment. In Dean’s email, he stated that on-campus students scheduled to drop off tests during the curtailment on Feb. 2 should do so only if they were comfortable doing so, and that commuter students should resume testing only on their next scheduled day. Regardless of action by the students in question, all Wildcat Passes were to stay valid and not be impacted by missing a test due during curtailment.
Since February and March are big snow months for New England, many more snow days and curtailments can be expected throughout the semester. It’s important to stay on top of what changes and what stays the same during big weather events on campus. And don’t forget to wear the right footwear when venturing out during snowstorms.