By Alejandra Rojas
Staff reporter

Wacky thunderstorms, gusts of wind, hail and snow season can create an unexpected series of events.

Whatever the reason for a sudden emergency, there are campus procedures to alert students, staff and faculty.

The recent storm on Sept. 15, which managed to damage parts of town, was broadcast over the news and radio and signaled a siren to alert the community. But what happens when there isn’t a siren to go off and warn the campus?

The storm might have had some students a little nervous, but Trini Mendoza, accounting junior, said she felt safe with the emergency procedures.

“For the most part I felt safe,” said Mendoza. “One thing I didn’t like was having electricity down for so long.”

Sara Weinert, vice president of communications, said the campus has emergency procedures in order to let everyone on campus become aware.

One way is by sending a mass e-mail, which is the procedure when school is canceled due to a snowstorm. Another way is by cell phone, in case there is an immediate danger, such as an intruder on campus.

“We have never used the cell phone, but we practice the procedure from time to time, said Weinert. “This is the most immediate way to contact everyone on campus.”

Mendoza said she wasn’t aware that cell phones were used to alert the campus in cases where something out of the ordinary came up.

“I think they can improve their way of letting us know things that go on by sending a mass text to everyone on campus, but overall the storm procedure was effective,” said Mendoza.

Weinert said that for regular day-to-day news a normal e-mail is plenty.

“It is very important for every student to keep their contacts up to date,” said Weinert. “We text, call the cell phone, e-mail and call landline numbers on every registered student.”

In case school is canceled for any reason, local radios and television stations will be notified to transmit the message.

Dick Merriman, president of the college, and Andrew Sheppard, dean of students, have the final say on whether school is canceled. Then they notify Weinert, who sends the e-mail.

Most of the time, the campus will follow the same methods as the Winfield School District, but in cases when the district closes due to transportation, the campus can remain open because a large number of students live on campus or nearby. “Sometimes it’s a matter of walking around and seeing if there is ice on the ground,” said Weinert.

In case of a situation where school needs to be canceled, check for e-mails, listen to the radio and turn on the television. Also make sure all contact information is up to date in College Services.

Alejandra Rojas is senior majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at