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Monday September 20th

Faculty Athletics Committee discusses plans for spring semester

<p>The UNC Faculty Athletics Committee meets over Zoom on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.</p>
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The UNC Faculty Athletics Committee meets over Zoom on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz aims to release a spring academic calendar by Oct. 8, he said at a Faculty Athletics Committee meeting Thursday — which will provide clarity on planning the athletic schedule for next semester. 

The committee met Thursday to plan for students and college athletes for the rest of the academic year.

The meeting began with an update on the planning process for the spring semester from Guskiewicz.

“Our hope is that more students will be back living and learning on campus this spring semester,” he said. 

Guskiewicz also said that he understands the need for immediate plans and hopes to release an academic calendar for the spring semester by next Thursday. 

Guskiewicz then said that going forward, a limited number of fans will be able to attend football games at Kenan Memorial Stadium, based on the new guidelines from the North Carolina public health department. 

In order to keep athletes healthy, Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham elaborated on the COVID-19 testing procedures for the fall season and said teams in season are being tested multiple times a week. 

Michelle Brown, director of the academic support program for student-athletes, then discussed the academic logistics for college athletes in a remote semester. 

“With so many of our teams moving their seasons to the spring semester, we can expect more missed classes and we are trying to figure out exactly what that will look like,” she said. “Even though we’ve been in this space for a couple semesters now, the spring semester will be still very different.” 

Brown went on to share her concerns for the upcoming semester. 

“Under normal circumstances, we usually have a pattern or an understanding of when some of the games are, so this spring will be a different space, but we are excited and ready for calendars to come out with new information,” she said. 

In order to combat some of the hardships that athletes face, Cricket Lane, associate athletic director, said the University supports its athletes beyond the sport by focusing on four areas — wellbeing, community outreach, career development and leadership.

Mady Clahane, a fifth-year student and UNC cross country team athlete, expressed her concerns for online access in the upcoming semester. 

“Since there’s going to be more of us missing classes in the spring, I think that access to online classes on the bus rides would be really helpful,” she said. “We’re expected to do work right up to the hour of the meet, and then turn around and come home. I think expectations have changed, which has been more stressful for me and some of my teammates.” 

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