Alma, surveying her snowy kingdom

If you were up until 3 am in Butler crossing your fingers for a snow day so that you wouldn’t have to take that 8:40 midterm, you were probably disappointed when you woke up to a bare ground. But good news: Barnard and Columbia have now announced that both schools will close at 4 pm today!

In an email sent to Barnard students at 12:40, public safety announced that due to the worsening weather conditions, the school will close at 4 pm and all classes after that time will be canceled. The email encouraged departments to send home all non-essential faculty after 3 pm.

A little after 1 pm, Columbia followed suit. In an email from the Columbia University Emergency Management Team, it was announced that due to the changing conditions, classes on the Morningside and Medical Center campuses after 4 pm are canceled. They noted that students should check in with their professors to see whether their classes will be held virtually.

While classes are canceled and other school and department operations are closing, the dining halls will remain open according to their normal schedule.

The emails from Barnard and Columbia can be read in full below. Advice from Bwog: take a study break and go play in the snow!

Update, 2:10 pm: Join us in celebrating the class cancellation with Bwog’s third annual snowball fight on Low steps! The fight will start at 4 pm and go until dusk. Or, whenever our arms get too tired to keep going.

Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

Due to worsening weather conditions, Barnard College will close today at 4 p.m. All classes that meet after that time are cancelled. Departments are encouraged to release non-essential staff (members of Facilities, Public Safety and Residential Life are considered to be essential) beginning at 3 p.m., consistent with operational needs. For information on events, please visit the Events Management website (

The main gate at 117th Street & Broadway will always remain open. To report an emergency on campus, please call Barnard Public Safety at 212-854-6666. For off-campus emergencies, please dial 911. For other assistance on campus, call Public Safety at 4-3362.

We advise the community to use mass transit and stay off roads as much as possible. Please stay safe and exercise caution.

For real-time weather and travel updates, please visit the National Weather Service website ( or follow them on Twitter (@NWSNEWYORKNY).

We will continue to monitor the weather conditions and update you on tomorrow’s campus operations on the Barnard website (


Antonio Gonzalez
Executive Director of Public Safety & Emergency Management


Dear Columbia Community,

The Winter Storm Warning for New York City and surrounding areas issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) remains active with increased estimates of snowfall to 7-11 inches and hazardous travel conditions later this afternoon.

Due to these changing conditions, classes at Morningside campus and the Medical Center beginning at 4:00 p.m. or later are canceled. We expect normal operations and class schedules to resume tomorrow, Thursday, March 8.

We encourage students with classes scheduled beginning at 4:00 p.m. or later to check in with their professors, as some classes may be held virtually via web conference.
Departments are encouraged to release non-essential personnel by 4:00 p.m. where operational needs allow, or as necessary to allow for a longer commute.
Essential personnel are expected to work as directed by their supervisors, consistent with University Policy.
Campus buildings will remain open per their normal operating schedules.

Please be aware of these additional operational changes occurring today in relation to the weather:

Morningside Campus:

The College Walk pedestrian gates (on both Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue), Earl Hall gate, 120th Street gate, Chapel gate, and exterior staircase at the Northwest Corner Building continue to be closed for snow removal. All other gates and regular building entrances should be available to access campus.
All Columbia Dining facilities are currently open. Prior to visiting a Dining facility, we suggest checking the Columbia Dining website for the latest updates as conditions change.
Dodge Fitness Center will remain open during the storm.
Butler Library remains open as a 24-hour study space. All other libraries will be closed by 4:00 p.m. today.

University shuttle buses:

The Lamont Shuttle is not running today, as the Lamont campus is closed.
All other shuttle buses have been operating on time, but may begin to operate with delays should the road conditions worsen.
Please check the Transportation website for additional impacts to the Intercampus, the Public Safety Evening Shuttle, Manhattanville Loop, Lamont, and Fort Lee shuttles prior to traveling by University shuttle.

University events and programs:

If you are planning to attend an event on campus, please reach out to the event organizer for the latest updates as a number of events have already been cancelled.

Before You Leave

In preparation for the inclement weather, Facilities would like to remind everyone to do the following before departing this afternoon:

Make sure all windows are closed securely. This single step may be the most important way that you can protect your work area or residence from potentially-damaging high winds.
Leave all radiator valves and fans coils on to ensure adequate heating and to avoid damage from freezing. Fan coils should be set to the slowest speed setting.
Clear clothing or furniture away from heaters to avoid fires or inadequate heating that may cause freeze-ups and damage.
Make sure all faucets are turned off to avoid frozen pipes.

In Case of Emergency:

Campus Operations will be available to assist with campus and building services. Please immediately report any unsafe conditions, such as icy areas, building floods, or falling snow from nearby buildings. At Morningside and Manhattanville, contact the Facilities Services Center at 212-854-2222, 24 hours a day. At the Medical Center, contact Facilities Management at 212-305-HELP (4357), option 3, or after-hours call Public Safety at 212-305-8100.

For any other emergencies, please contact Public Safety at 212-854-5555 (Morningside), 212-853-3333 (Manhattanville), 212-305-7979 (CUMC), or 911 if appropriate.

Stay informed:

The EMOT team will be monitoring the storm as it unfolds and will keep you updated by email and/or text as well as via the University homepage, the Columbia Preparedness site and the Medical Center Operations site as new information becomes available that impacts you or our campus.

Additionally, for real-time weather information, visit the National Weather Service. Stay informed by signing up for Notify NYC, the City’s official source for emergency information, or by visiting New York City’s Severe Weather website.

Please stay safe and exercise caution when traveling.


David M. Greenberg, on behalf of the Emergency Management Operations Team

Executive Vice President

University Facilities and Operations

Columbia University

Image via Idris O’Neill