Monday Loop classes take new form for NATO
Published: Monday, May 14, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
DePaul students who have Monday classes in the Loop got some interesting news when DePaul announced they would be closing that campus from Friday, May 18 to Monday, May 21 while the world comes to town for the NATO summit.
The decision, originally passed down when the G8 summit was going to be held in Chicago as well, has remained the same even though G8 has since been moved to Camp David.
“The NATO summit is an extraordinary event...that will attract thousands of extra visitors to downtown,” reads an official statement on the university’s webpage about NATO. Closing the Loop campus is “a precaution against potential logistical issues that may arise...and to lessen traffic stress that might occur during the summit period.”
Beyond the written statement, DePaul Communications Specialist Deborah Snow Humiston said the university had no comment on its decision to close.
The Loop closure presents a conundrum for professors and students, particularly graduate students whose classes only meet once a week. All offices and classrooms, including computer labs frequently used by students to do homework, and the school bookstore Barnes and Noble, will be closed for the entire weekend.
On top of that, the Monday following NATO is Memorial Day, and classes will be cancelled then as well. This effectively cuts Monday graduate classes from a 10-week quarter to an eight-week one.
Professor Amber Settle, who teaches two undergraduate computer science courses, has some room to make up the lost day. Her classes have two lectures a week, as well as extra lab time, which the students usually use to get extra practice. Settle says she will likely have to cut into that lab time to catch them up on missed material.
“I don’t normally go to the lab,” Settle said. “But I’m going to use the labs to teach materials if we’re behind. We’re going to have to see.”
Settle’s class meets twice a week--Mondays and Wednesdays--which means they will be missing two classes, between NATO and Memorial Day. Settle is not yet sure how far behind her class will be, but if she does have to use the labs to catch students up on the material, they will lose the extra practice time.
Graduate student Lisa Klein is graduating at the end of this quarter, and one of her classes will be meeting for the last time on Monday, May 14. The last two weeks of the quarter have been cut off.
“Next week is my last class,” said Klein. “It’s kind of weird.”
Klein was initially excited when she heard the campus was closing. She was planning to go to the Shedd Aquarium to see the jelly fish exhibit. But the Shedd, along with Adler Planetarium and the Art Institute, will be closed May 19-21 due to security restrictions and road closings for the summit.
“You think you’ll get to do stuff, but you can’t,” Klein said.
Still, preparations and arrangements for NATO seem to be restricted mainly to downtown, Klein pointed out, so students could still find things to do with their day off.
Communications graduate student Kristen Nemoto said she would still be having class over the weekend of the NATO summit--just not in a classroom.
“We’re covering different stories about NATO,” she said. Her class will have the option to gather at a Starbucks to touch base during the summit, and there will also be lab time to work on their stories on Tuesday, May 22. And if she finished her reporting before Monday, Nemoto will still not be taking the day off: she has a paper for another class due Wednesday.
Though she lives downtown and won’t be able to use any of the facilities at the Loop campus, Nemoto is pragmatic about the university’s decision to close.
“I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry,” she said. “Because we are right in the heart of it here.”