Pitt-Johnstown weather notifications were ineffective for some during delay

Peijia Zhang, Editor-in-Chief

Pitt-Johnstown community members may not have been well-informed of a temporary university closing Feb. 9 due to poor weather.

By 5:40 a.m. Feb. 9, Pitt-Johnstown administrators had sent out notification about the university being closed until 10 a.m., but it did not appear on WJAC’s Channel 6 until after 9 a.m., Finance and Administration Vice President Amy Buxbaum said.

Buxbaum said an alert message appeared on Pitt-Johnstown’s website and emails and social media notifications were sent by 5:40 a.m., along with a notification to WJAC-TV.

Other notification outlets are WTAJ Channel 10 and all local radio stations, according to Buxbaum.

“Note that the WJAC’s website was updated with the delay information when it was submitted, but the TV station did not transfer the delay to the scroll on the TV.

“Unfortunately, we believed that the submission was working correctly when it appeared on the web and did not realize that it was not being broadcast until after 9 a.m.”

It is unclear why the notification did not appear on TV in time.

Matt Stevens, WJAC’s assignment manager said on Friday that information about the notification had expired in 12 hours, so he could not trace back to the time.

He said it was most likely a technical problem that caused the delay because a staff transition had been taking place.

“We’re fully staffed now.

“Hopefully there won’t be an issue (in the future),” Stevens said.

Business instructor Yi Jian had two sessions of the same class Feb. 9 – one at 9:30 a.m. and the other at 11 a.m.

Jian said she canceled her 9:30 a.m. class that day because only five out of 45 students went to the class.

“Around 10 a.m., another three students came.”

She said the class cancellation delayed the class’ progress.

“But, in the following week, I adjusted my schedule and made these two sessions go back to the same pace.”

Nathan Fasick, a newly transferred computer science major, said he had a programming class at 10 a.m. that day, and the class attendance was normal.

“It didn’t affect my classes at all since I only have a 10 a.m. (class) on Thursdays.

“But, I live 45 minutes away (from campus), and I had to give myself an extra 20 (or more) minutes to be able to get to class on time since the highways were still pretty bad.”