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Columbia College Shifts Spring Schedule To Keep Students Away From NATO, G8 Summits

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Chicago is already bracing for the simultaneous G8 and NATO summits that will hit the city in May 2012 and will bring with them international government leaders and protestors on a massive scale.

Anticipating the chaos that will descend upon the Loop, Columbia College President Warrick Carter announced last week in an email to students that the school will alter their spring schedule to keep students out of the city during the summits, Chicagoist reports.

"Based upon available information about the G8 and NATO summits and related activities happening near the South Loop and our campus area, it became clear that in the best interest of the entire Columbia community, we should shift the end of the 2012 school year by two weeks to avoid potential conflict with these international events," Carter said in the email.

The changes include moving the spring semester start date to Jan. 17, and the J-term to Jan. 3. The Manifest Urban Arts Festival will take place on May 4 this year, with the semester ending and commencement ceremonies beginning May 5. Spring break remains unchanged, according to the school's website.

These international events present significant complications to Columbia’s ability to complete the spring semester successfully. Specifically, the events present challenges to being able to access campus facilities during finals week and to finding places to host both the Manifest Urban Arts Festival and the Commencement ceremonies.

Film and Video Department Chair Bruce Sheridan told the Columbia Chronicle that shortening J-term would be ideal for his department--and preferable to eliminating spring break.

“It’s really a matter of what’s the greatest good for the greatest number of students,” Sheridan told the Chronicle.

Flickr photo by gingerbydesign.

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Columbia College Shifts Schedule to Avoid NATO, G8 Summits