Debate ‘likely’ to affect LU calendar

Published 5:03 am Thursday, October 8, 2015

Though the 2016-17 Longwood University academic calendar is likely to change because of next October’s vice-presidential debate, it’s unclear exactly how it will affect staff and students.

According to Justin Pope, chief of staff for Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV, “while no final decisions have been made, we are likely to adjust the academic calendar so that classes will not be scheduled for a few days immediately surrounding the October 4 debate.”

Pope said the change “will ensure classes aren’t disrupted by debate logistics and enable students to participate fully in the events we will have on campus surrounding the debate itself. We are eager that students be able to fully experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

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Joan Neff, Longwood’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the academic calendar for next year has not been finalized.

In a campus email to faculty and staff, Reveley said “we are looking to arrange fall break 2016 to come on the days surrounding the debate so students can participate fully in the many events that will be planned for the days running up to the debate itself,” he said.

He said the “entire experience will complement, not replace, all the work we have underway. Hosting a debate will be in so many ways a natural extension of important areas of focus, from the [general education] revision process to drawing visitors to campus to increasing alumni engagement.”

“As we look to the coming year, the Commission on Presidential Debates itself will also be extremely helpful throughout. In great measure, they’ve entrusted this important national responsibility to us because the Longwood spirit and can-do attitude resonate so strongly with their own,” Reveley said.

In addition, Reveley said the debate would provide the opportunity for courses to be planned surrounding issues of important focus in the 2016 election.