In the face of of heavy snowfall in the Philadelphia area early Thursday morning, Penn sent a weather advisory at 7:45 a.m. to the Penn community that said the University will open at noon, with classes also beginning at 12 p.m.
"Essential University staff and all Health system physicians and staff are required to report to work at their regularly scheduled start time," the advisory stated.
University spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy said the University decided to delay opening to allow more time for faculty and staff to get to campus.
"We need time to make sure that the walkways and roads around campus are safe and passable," MacCarthy said in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian. "And with this particular storm, which hit its peak intensity right at rush hour, it created a terrible commute for faculty and staff coming in from the suburbs, where there was considerably more snow than fell in the city."
Between six and ten inches of snow were predicted to fall within the early hours of Thursday. Daily Pennsylvanian meteorologist Elyas Tecle has advocated that classes be cancelled due to the hazardous conditions.
Penn’s Department of Recreation sent an email to all students late Wednesday outlining the department’s plans under various possible University closure conditions.
“The Department of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics Inclement Weather Schedule is designed to accommodate the needs of on-campus residents who may wish to engage in recreational activities during campus closures. In severe weather please call 215-898-MELT(6358),” the message read in part.
SEPTA tweeted Wednesday evening that commuters should “allow [themselves] some extra time” during the morning commute.
All Philadelphia public schools have been closed for the day.