Surviving the Snowpocalypse

by James Hearne

Horizon Reporter

Less than a month into winter quarter, Whatcom Community College has already been canceled once and delayed twice. What exactly goes into this decision?

            Nate Langstraat, the interim vice-president for administrative services, said that he reviews different sources of information, and even then it’s not an easy call. He does try to consult a number of different sources on the matter. First and foremost, the maintenance personnel give an estimate as to whether or not they can get the campus itself safe for students and faculty, by shoveling and plowing snow, as well as spreading salt on icy pavement. He said that it is not a precise science.

            “It’s always a tough decision to make,” Langstraat said. 

            Brian Keeley, director of facilities, added that there are a number of factors that go into it. He says that he if he expects snowfall, he gets up very early and looks at the amount of snow on the ground. He also contacts certain staff members who live in different areas throughout the county, and gets their prognosis on whether or not it would be safe to drive to campus. Then, he and Langstraat, come to a decision and inform the president of the college, Kathi Hiyane-Brown. 

            “Nate and I basically made a decision,” Keeley said, “whether to delay or cancel classes.”


            The information for weather related class delays or cancellations can be found on Whatcom’s home page (, on one of the media outlets websites, which are found by clicking on the “Emergency Information” link at the bottom of Whatcoms homepage, or by calling Whatcoms main phone line at (360) 383-3000.     

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