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Professors get lesson on coping with RNC

Posted Apr 26, 2012 by Josh Poltilove

Updated Apr 26, 2012 at 02:49 PM

University of Tampa’s faculty will face plenty of challenges when the Republican National Convention comes to Tampa in August.

The commute to work might be longer. Instructors might have to deal with their own child care issues caused by school closures. And some of the professors’ students might not be able to make it to class.

UT recently posted some advice to professors on its website.

“Commuting to and from campus may be a challenge,” a staff preparedness document states. “Staff members are encouraged to plan alternate routes and allow for additional travel time, and to keep their supervisors appraised should difficulties arise in transit to campus. As always, each staff member will have the right to decide if they cannot be on campus due to safety or other accessibility issues.”

The Aug. 27-30 convention is expected to draw more than 50,000 people to downtown Tampa – everyone from delegates to media to protesters. A list of road closures surrounding the event has not been released.

Classes are expected to meet during the RNC. But if that’s impossible, faculty members must alert their students and direct them to alternate coursework online, according to the university.

Students are expected to attend classes that week. Commuters will be given some leeway.

UT informed instructors that street closures and traffic patterns will be unpredictable.

“Departments may want to consider how to stagger work schedules so offices are functional for the scheduled work periods,” the document states.

Instructors should secure their valuables because strangers might be on campus that week, according to the university. Office doors should be locked when instructors aren’t there.

Instructors also should have their “Spartan” cards and other identification with them while on campus.

UT encouraged professors to invite candidates for local offices to speak on campus during RNC week. The university also encouraged instructors to place voter registration information in syllabi and to incorporate “relevant election-related discussions and readings into classes.”

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