The National Weather Service expects the winter storm heading toward Houston to create what forecasters describe as “life-threatening impacts” beginning Sunday night and continuing into Tuesday. Sleet and freezing rain are forecast on Monday, and the bitterly cold temperatures are expected to drop in the low teens on Tuesday.
As a result, on Monday (Feb. 15) and Tuesday (Feb. 16), Rice University is ceasing normal operations on campus. All classes scheduled on those days should be conducted remotely. No instruction will be conducted in classrooms on either of these days.
In addition, only essential personnel should report to the campus on Monday and Tuesday. All other staff should revert to remote working arrangements made with their supervisors for those two days. Again, if you have any doubt about whether you need to come to campus during this weather emergency, please check with your supervisor.
Also, there will be no COVID-19 testing on campus Monday or Tuesday. As Dean Gorman communicated to undergraduate students yesterday, those who will still be arriving on Monday or Tuesday for move-in should contact their residential college magister by Sunday evening so arrangements can be made for Housing and Dining. The Fondren Library, the Rice Student Center, and the Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center will all be closed Monday and Tuesday. Rice buses will continue running for the RVA/RGA grad housing, if it’s safe to do so, on Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. These routes will be canceled if conditions become unsafe.
During the winter storm emergency, the crisis management team urges the campus community to stay indoors as much as possible. Sidewalks and streets may be covered with ice, creating a hazard for anyone walking around the campus. Spending more time indoors may increase the possibility of COVID transmission in enclosed spaces both on and off-campus, so please remember to mask, physically distance, and wash your hands often.
If you have an emergency or see anyone who needs help on campus, please don’t hesitate to contact RUPD at (713) 348-6000.
We’ll continue monitoring the winter storm’s progress and issue another update on Monday.
Rice Crisis Management Team