Belmont University hosted its first presidential debate in 2008. Flash forward 10 years later as curtains peeled back in the Vince Gill Room to reveal a banner hanging above Dr. Robert Fisher’s head, “Once again, the road to the White House runs through Belmont University.” The Belmont Vision plans to be a stop on that road as every aspect of the debate will be looked at, from the cost to the planning to the politics. Join us on our “Road to the White House.”
The presidential debate won’t have a huge impact on students’ schedules, but students will be able to expect one major shake-up — a week-long fall break.
Though Belmont’s academic calendar for 2020-2021 will not be posted until later this week, it has already been designed with the debate in mind.
However, students’ class schedules won’t be majorly affected, said University Provost Dr. Thomas Burns.
“The biggest change that you’ll notice is that because of the debate, all the moving in, vetting and security and so on, fall break will be a week long,” said Burns. “We start classes a week earlier, we’ll have a week-long fall break, then it will end at the same time normally in the fall.”
The number of class meetings will not be affected.
Classes in 2020’s fall semester will begin on August 19, only a day earlier than 2019 and a week prior to what was initially planned for 2020. Fall break will come eight weeks after classes start, Thanksgiving break will follow four weeks after that and classes will end less than a week and a half later.
The debate will have no impact on the spring schedule, Burns said.
Convocation events will be planned in accordance with the debate as well, with a variety of Belmont’s academic programs offering looks into the political process. It was a goal to encourage political discussion for all students regardless of majors, said Burns.
The administration is actively collecting ideas from students and faculty in order to promote civil engagement with the event from the entire Belmont community, Burns also said.
“I think what we’re trying to do is take this as an opportunity to really celebrate all things government, all things about our free society.”
This article written by Justin Wagner and Henry Gregson. Graphic by Luke Rogers.