Campus Safety: Winter Edition

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It’s that time of year again: the temperatures are dropping, the snowflakes are falling and all student eyes are on IUPUI’s social media to see if campus has been cancelled.

Winter has arrived in Indianapolis.

IUPUI, unlike our sister school in Bloomington, is considered a commuter campus. What does that mean? Even with the addition of North Hall in 2016, most students at IUPUI live off campus. According to USNews, “Indiana University-Purdue University: Indianapolis has a total undergraduate enrollment of 21,748. At this school, 12 percent of the students live in college-owned, operated, or affiliated housing, and 88 percent of students live off campus.” (2016)

Unfortunately, that means that many students must brave the elements to get to class, which includes sleet, snow, and freezing rain.

How can students stay safe traveling to and attending classes during the winter season? has some ideas.

According to the website, there are a number of things that students can do to prepare for winter weather. “Dress appropriately for cold weather any time you go anywhere, with multiple layers of clothing underneath a water-resistant coat: protect your amenities with a hat, gloves or mittens, and waterproof shoes with good traction; and protect your face and lungs with a scarf.”

The website also says you should allow more time for travel, check for local weather conditions and travel advisories before leaving, and have an emergency kit at home or in your car filled with food, water, and any other supplies you might need.

Students should also fully charge their cell phones before traveling to campus in case of an emergency and keep it charged throughout the day.

Getting around campus can be tricky to navigate in certain conditions as well. One student offered some advice about getting around during winter weather.

“Become very familiar with the tubes and the tunnels,” graduate student Dara Hardesty said.

According to the Student Affairs website, “Gerbil tubes at IUPUI are overhead, enclosed crosswalks connecting several buildings and parking garages across campus. They’re heavily used to avoid snow, rain, and cold, and to avoid dodging traffic on busy streets.”

IUPUI recently released a video on it’s social media pages about using the gerbil tubes to get from the Science and Engineering Laboratory Building (SELB) to the Natatorium.

Another popular way to get around campus is by riding the shuttle buses. According to IUPUI Parking Services, “there are four shuttle lines with more than 20 stops, so getting to and from your office or classroom is quick and easy, and it’s free to anyone in the university community!”

IUPUI also has advice on what not to do during winter weather. says “you shouldn’t go anywhere underdressed--your warm car may break down, your destination may be without power, so plan for the worst.”

Make sure that you stock up on essential supplies, such as toilet paper, food and water before the weather arrives, particularly a few days prior.

You should never travel during a winter storm unless it is absolutely necessary. However, according to IUPUI’s policy on adverse weather, “It is the policy of the university to operate at all times.”

To stay up to date on the latest school closings and weather alerts, follow IU Emergency Management on Twitter @IUEMC, @ProtectIU, and @IUPUI.

To get notifications sent to your cell phone about campus safety updates, students can sign up for alerts from IU-Notify. According to, “The messages can be sent to cell phones (voice and text) and landline phones, email, digital signs and some desktop computers.”

You can sign up for IU-Notify through logging in to One.IU, searching for IU-Notify, and answering the prompts that follow.

With these tips, staying safe and warm on campus should be easy. Be sure to bundle up; we still have over 40 days until spring break.

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