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Academic senate discusses reopening performance venues on campus


Central Michigan University Provost Mary Schutten announced university officials are working to reopen performance venues on campus at the Sept. 29 academic senate meeting. 

This announcement follows Governor Whitmer's latest executive order.

The order permits places like theaters and performing arts centers to reopen on Oct. 9, including campus venues such as CMU's Plachta Auditorium and the University Center Rotunda. These locations would operate at 20 percent fixed seating capacity. Schutten said the university is conferring with the appropriate state officials to ensure the university is in compliance.

"We are continuing to investigate and get the best information possible to make sure we comply with all of the components in place," Schutten said.

The Senate also discussed changes to the Spring 2020 semester. 

Changes include the entire first week of classes, Jan. 11-15, will be held online whether the class be an in-person, online or hybrid class model. The semester will end with exams May 3-7. 

The most notable change is that instead of a week-long spring break CMU will instead offer five "wellness days" spread throughout the semester.

"We are providing opportunities for yet-to-be-determined dates away from class," Provost Schutten said. "Hopefully, (those days are) still on campus rather than the traditional one-week spring break."

The plan is that by separating these day students will be discouraged from traveling and increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19 on campus. 

Additionally, CMU will not be offering opportunities for study abroad programs in the spring semester. 

Other business

Student opinion surveys have been moved entirely online effective this semester. These surveys will be conducted via EvaluationKit which will reduce the cost of distributing surveys. The surveys will continue to use the existing core SOS questions without change.

Elections were also held within the senate for the multiple positions. 

Joanne Dannenhoffer was elected to the Academic Planning Council, a position she has held before. Thomas Greitens was nominated and then elected into the Budget Priorities Committee.

Twenty-eight other nominations for positions on the Committee of committees were unanimously approved.

Academic Senate meetings are held virtually over live-stream every other Tuesday on the academic senate webpage.