Office of Public Affairs

Winter weather - USM info and policies on closings and delays

USM - winter is coming

Winter's here, so it's time to review USM's weather cancellation/delays policy.

Step 1:  Sign up for the USM text alerts http://usm.maine.edu/usmalert/  This is the best and most timely way to get information about USM closings/delays (also, check your account to make sure it's still active). 

Step 2: Review the USM snow closing policy with information about policy, parking, bus schedules and more. 
*Reminder, the USM Portland-Gorham METRO Husky Line bus is managed independently of USM by METRO, so also visit METRO's web page and sign up for METRO text alerts!

Weather conditions in Maine may vary greatly by area. For your personal safety, you should use your own judgment prior to driving in inclement weather. When USM is closed, all classes will be cancelled, including online classes. 

The decision to close for the entire day is typically made by 6:00 a.m. or earlier if possible. For storms projected to begin mid-morning or later, the decision to close is made 2 hours prior to closing. 

Notification: People are notified about closings or delays in all of the following outlets. Any necessary updates are recorded throughout the day.

1) Text Alerts – For the most timely notification of weather-related cancellations or postponements, members of the University of Southern Maine are strongly encouraged to sign up for USM text and/or email message alerts

2) The USM website home page

3) USM Official Facebook and Twitter

4) Local news media

5) USM Emergency Information Line:  207-780-4800 (for all three campuses).

Parking: there may be occasions where the facilities department needs to move cars so they can plow – parking bans should be announced prior via USM Text Alert, the website and social media.

Also, for the Portland Campus – USM faculty/staff/students (with a USM hangtag parking permit) may park overnight on the bottom level of the Parking Garage (not in any of the surface lots). However if school is closed, the garage will close (usually one hour after school closes), so you will be unable to retrieve your car until school is opened. 

Stay safe: Students are encouraged to use their best judgment regarding their local travel conditions. If USM is open, students are expected to attend their classes(s). If unable to attend, students are expected to work out their absence with their professor prior to the class starting. Students are also encouraged to proactively discuss methods of contacting their faculty prior to inclement weather arriving.  Discussing options earlier can reduce miscommunication. Here’s a detailed listing of professors and their contact information.