Office of Public Affairs

Winter’s Coming – time to review USM’s Snow Closing policy

USM Winter is Coming

As they say on “Game of Thrones” – winter’s coming! As we move into the winter weather pattern, please visit to either sign up for the USM ALERT system or to ensure that your account is still active. This system is utilized for all campus emergency notifications, including campus closings.

Please keep in mind that 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.

The details of USM’s snow closing policy are listed online (including the bus schedule). As a reminder, the decision to close for the entire day is typically made by 6:00 a.m., earlier if possible. For storms projected to begin mid-morning or later, the decision to close is made 2 hours prior to closing. 

Notifications are distributed via 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 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).

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

Also, for the Portland Campus – USM faculty/staff/students may park overnight in the garage (not the surface lots), however if school is closed, the garage will be too, so you will be unable to retrieve your car until school is opened. 

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.