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We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

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This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Emergency Closure Policy

Classification number ADM 1301
Framework category Administrative
Approving authority Senior Leadership Team
Policy owner Vice-President, Human Resources and Services
Approval date December 15, 2014
Review date December 2017
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020

Purpose

As a general practice, the University makes every effort to maintain normal operations.  However, there may be occasions where normal operations would pose a danger to students, staff, faculty and other members of the University community and a decision to Close the University must be made.  A closure of the University, in whole or in part, may be prompted by inclement weather, a utilities failure, or other emergency situations that place members of the community at significant risk. The purpose of the Emergency Closure Policy is to set the principles by which a decision to suspend University Activities is made and to ensure decisions are made in a clear, orderly and coordinated manner.  

Definitions

For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

Activity” means any function that is directly related to, or arising from, the operations of the University for the purposes of carrying out its mission and mandate.

Closed” means that all Activities will cease at any or all of the specified locations owned and/or occupied by the University.

Emergency Management Response Team (EMRT)” means the team responsible for the coordination and management of emergencies affecting the University and Durham College. 

Essential Services” means services that are necessary for the University to assure the health and safety of faculty, staff and students and to secure the safe and continuing operation of critical infrastructure.

Scope and authority

This Policy applies to all locations owned and/or occupied by the University for the purposes of carrying out University Activities. This Policy also applies to any institutions federated or affiliated with the University, where such inclusion has been agreed upon by the University and the federated or affiliated institution, with respect to the premises, facilities, equipment, services, Activities, students and other members of the federated or affiliated institution.

This Policy applies to all members of the University including faculty, staff, and students, as well as visitors or external organizations, carrying out Activities at any University location.

University-related Activities that take place at locations that are owned and occupied by a third party (e.g., practicum placements, off campus events, etc.) will be governed by the decisions made by that entity.

Policy

General

  1. The University will Close when normal operations would pose a danger to students, staff, faculty and other members of the University community.

  2. In the absence of a communicated decision to Close, the University will remain open and all Activities will continue as planned. 

  3. The University may Close for the morning, afternoon, evening, or for the entire day.  In each instance, the announcement will include the time of closing and, where possible, the duration of closing.   

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  1. A decision to Close the University, or any University campus location, will be made by the Emergency Management Response Team (EMRT) on behalf of the University president.  The responsibilities of the EMRT and its authority to act are set out in the University's Emergency Preparedness Plan.

  2. In the event that the conditions involve the north Oshawa campus shared by the University and Durham College, the decision to Close will be made by the Emergency Management Response Team (EMRT) on behalf of the presidents of both institutions.

  3. The Director, Communications and Marketing, will be responsible for communicating all closures according to the established procedures.   The Communications and Marketing Department is the only office that is authorized to communicate with the media regarding the Closing of the University.

Essential Services

  1. Even when the University is Closed, those services delineated as Essential Services in the Emergency Closure Procedures must be kept in operation.  

  2. The level of services to be delivered, and specific staff members who will be responsible for maintaining Essential Services, will be designated by the Dean or Director responsible for those services.

Personal Safety

  1. At all times, individuals should assess their own personal safety in deciding whether or not to come to work, class, or to attend an off-site Activity.

  2. When the University does not Close in inclement weather, staff and faculty are expected to make reasonable efforts to report to work.  An individual who decides for their own safety not to report to work must contact their immediate supervisor.

Employee Remuneration

  1. If the University Closes, faculty and staff who are scheduled to work during the time the University is Closed will be paid for that time whether they are at work or not.

  2. Staff who are required to work providing Essential Services during a Closed period are entitled to equivalent time off at a later date at straight time rates.

  3. A staff member who is on vacation, sick leave, or who is not scheduled to work on a day when the University is Closed, is not entitled to equivalent time off later.

  4. When the University does not Close in inclement weather, a faculty or staff member who decides for their own safety not to report to work will determine, with their immediate supervisor, the appropriate characterization of the day.

Relevant legislation

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Related policies, procedures & documents

Emergency Closure Procedures

Emergency Preparedness Plan

University Pandemic Plan

Specific area/department or key infrastructure plans (as applicable)