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(January 24, 2002, Gazette)

Stormy weather

Memorial’s St. John’s campus and the Marine Institute shut their doors three times in the last two weeks as weather played havoc with road conditions across the east coast of the island.

The first closure came Jan. 16 when the capital city received a record-breaking 37 centimetres of snow and high winds.

Then another big storm hit the city this week. It started Tuesday with 24 centimetres of snow falling throughout the day. With more snow in the morning of Jan. 23, and winds gusting up to 100 km/hr, the university remained closed until 1 p.m.

University Relations director Victoria Collins said the decision to close is made by the president after consultation with Facilities Management Director Darrell Miles. Mr. Miles spends the early morning hours on stormy days consulting with officials at City Hall, MetroBus, Environment Canada and members of his staff, among others, before offering his best judgement to the president.

When a decision is made, that information is communicated by University Relations, said Ms. Collins. If there is a closure, the news gets out through local radio stations, through the MUN Web site and the BANNER system.

Meanwhile, it’s been business as usual at MUN’s Corner Brook campus, Grenfell College. So far weather conditions have necessitated the cancellation of only one session of evening classes at Grenfell, due to a storm that occurred more than two weeks ago. Snow has been accumulating daily, but that’s mostly good news for the snow-related activities that many Grenfell faculty, staff and students participate in - downhill and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and other outdoor winter activities. With the Corner Brook Winter Carnival right around the corner, most west coast residents are looking forward to even more of the white stuff.

The weather is not all bad news for the St. John’s campus. The MUNSU winter carnival, Winter Blast 2002, is underway until Feb. 2.