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USF System announces closings

By Thomas C. Tobin
[Times files]
Students walk near the reflecting pool at University of South Florida in Tampa. Officials announced Wednesday that the USF System would close for the rest of the week because of Hurricane Irma.

The University of South Florida System has announced it will close its campuses over the next few days due to the threat of Hurricane Irma.

USF in Tampa will be closed Thursday through Sunday, while USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee will close Thursday through Monday. Officials will decide later this week whether to close the Tampa school on Monday as well.

The decision affects some 50,000 students and 15,000 faculty throughout the system. Read the full text of the notice today from USF’s communications and marketing department:

Dear USF System students, faculty and staff:
With all of Florida now under a state of emergency, our entire state faces an unprecedented threat from Hurricane Irma. In an effort to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our 50,000 students and 15,000 faculty and staff, the University of South Florida System will close beginning Thursday, Sept. 7 through Sunday, Sept. 10 to allow time for the entire USF family to prepare. All classes on those dates are cancelled. USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee will also be closed and classes will be cancelled on Monday, Sept. 11. A decision about whether to open USF in Tampa on Monday will be made later this week. This announcement will be made on the university’s website, official social media channels, MyUSF and via email.
On Thursday and Friday, only USF System employees who are classified as essential personnel and those identified by their supervisors as vital to campus operations, should report to work. Employees who are unsure if they need to come in to work, should contact their supervisors by close of business today, Wednesday, Sept. 6, to confirm.
Residence halls and dining facilities at USF Tampa will remain open. The Marshall Student Center, USF Library, Campus Recreation Center, Student Health Services and the Counseling Center in Tampa will remain open through 6 p.m. Friday, but will close on Saturday and Sunday. 
All USF Health clinics will remain open through Friday. Third and fourth year medical students should continue their rotations as scheduled through Friday. 
The USF Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7 at USF St. Petersburg has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.
USF System students, faculty and staff who need assistance, including the possibility of finding shelter or other accommodations, should contact the following individuals at each institution by Thursday, Sept. 7 at 12 p.m. to ensure services can be provided to everyone who needs them.
USF System students, faculty and staff who need assistance, including the possibility of finding shelter or other accommodations, should contact the following individuals at each institution by Thursday, Sept. 7 at 12 p.m. to ensure services can be provided to everyone who needs them:
USF Tampa students: Danielle McDonald – (813) 974-6677 or [email protected] 
USF Tampa faculty and staff: Dwayne Smith – (813) 974-3151 or [email protected] 
USF St. Petersburg students, faculty and staff: Jacob Diaz – (727) 873-4826 or [email protected] or [email protected] 
USF Sarasota-Manatee students, faculty and staff: Amy Farrington – (941) 993-3194 or [email protected] 
All USF System students, faculty and staff are encouraged to plan carefully and take all precautions necessary to remain safe.