Lifestyles Center Blog


Before enrolling in SUNY Oswego, you probably googled the phrase, “SUNY Oswego winter.” However, you never really understand a SUNY Oswego winter until you experience a few of them. They are different every year, and the campus has its specific challenges. Here is what you need to know:

Weather Predictions:

  • Winter will be warmer than normal, with above-normal precipitation.
  • The coldest periods will be in late December and early to mid-January and from mid-January into early February.
  • Snowfall will be above normal in New York and below normal elsewhere,
  • The snowiest periods will be in mid-November, late December, early and late January, mid-February, and early March.

Class Cancellations:

When we come back in January, classes at SUNY Oswego may be canceled due to winter weather on various days. When classes are canceled at the college, faculty and commuting students are advised not to come to campus. Although Oswego is a residential college, severe weather typical of this region can make it difficult to clear campus roadways and parking lots.
The college cancels classes when the entire campus is affected. Since weather conditions can vary greatly at any given location in Central New York and along Lake Ontario, it is encouraged that faculty and commuting students to decide for themselves if it is safe for them to travel to campus. When it is not safe to travel, commuting students should promptly call or email their professors to advise them of their situation, especially if you have an exam that day.

To find out if classes are canceled, members of the campus community have several options:

  • Check the SUNY Oswego homepage
  • NY Alert System
    • If you are not registered for NY Alert, REGISTER NOW:
  • Call 315.312.3333 (the college information line)
  • Listen to television or radio:
    • Radio:
      • WRVO Stations (FM 89.9 to 91.9 throughout Central and Upstate New York)
      • WSYR/WYYY  (iHeart Media/Clear Channel Y94 FM 94.5, WSYR 570 AM, B104.7 FM in Syracuse)
      • WHAM (AM 1180 in Rochester)
    • Television
      • Channel 3
      • WTVH Channel 5  
      • WSYR Channel 9  
      • YNN Channel 10  
      • WWTI Newswatch 50

Snow Removal:

A few times every winter, each parking lot on campus will be towed. Plowing of student lots requires the full cooperation of all students:

  • Generally, you should expect your lot to be plowed three to four days after a heavy snow storm.
  • Emergency snow removal signs indicating the date and time that certain lots will be plowed will be posted on the main doors of the residence halls prior to the date.
  • Students are expected to move their cars to a designated lot before the time of plowing.  
  • University Police will assist students who are at their cars and have difficulty starting them.  
  • Unattended cars will be towed — at the owner’s expense — at the hour of plowing.
  • After plowing, students must move their cars back to their original lot. Failure to do so will result in towing.
  • If a student is unavailable to move his/her car during the announced time, he/she should make arrangements to have a friend move it for him/her. Students going away for the weekend should leave their keys with a friend to avoid possible towing costs.

Do not take this lightly, as I have seen many cars towed during snow removal periods. It is annoying, freezing, and frustrating but it is the only way to ensure safe and functional parking lots.


One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen is frozen Lake Ontario. Some of the water is completely frozen, some is still completely liquid, and some is slush that forms amazing, slow-motion waves along the shore. If you get a chance, I strongly suggest you go check it out. However, every good Oswegonian knows:

  • Ice breaks, ice is very cold, and ice is very hard.
    • In other words, getting too close to the lake during the winter months can lead to drowning, hypothermia, injury, and death.
    • All of those have happened before and will hopefully never happen again
  • Whatever you do, DO NOT try to walk to the lighthouse.
    • The rocks are icy, and it’s way too freakin cold to be walking that far anyway.
    • Instead, you can google pretty pictures of lighthouses from the comfort of your room with a cup of tea in your hand.
  • Get good boots.
    • Get boots with traction and insulation
    • Even when you have the good boots, watch out for ice, especially on the footbridge between Tyler and west campus.
  • Wear a coat.
    • ALWAYS
    • If you’re going out, wear a dang coat
      • No one will make fun of you
      • It is not that heavy

Written and Researched by Sarah Pasquarelli, Peer Educator

Photo Cred:Here