Universities will not get break for 2002 Olympics

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    By CHRISTOPHER WALKER

    Utah Universities are planning how to meet the needs of their students and how their facilities will be affected during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

    The University of Utah will be taking an early three-week spring break, but despite rumors, BYU and UVSC are not planning to change their schedule.

    BYU Media Communications Spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said ideas are being discussed, but it is not hopeful for students who want to take a school-sanctioned break for the Olympics.

    “I doubt that BYU will close for the Olympics,” she said.

    “We are at a stage where we are discussing how we might be involved in the 2002 Olympic games. There are a lot of proposals and a lot of potential opportunities that have not yet been decided upon,” Jenkins said.

    She said she hopes grades will not be negatively affected by the Olympics.

    “That’s up to each student, but its a great opportunity and I hope they look at it that way,” she said.

    BYU students do not seem to mind that they will not be getting out of school for the Olympics.

    Troy Johnson, 22, a freshman from San Francisco, Calif. majoring in physical therapy, said he thinks it is a good idea to keep BYU open and running during the Olympics.

    “We need to take advantage of every opportunity available to us (because) we are here to gain an education,” he said.

    Julie Lopez, 19, a sophomore from Portland, Ore. majoring in social work, agrees.

    “It’s nice for those who actually want to graduate. We can decide whether or not to go to class — it is our own decision,” she said.

    Lopez said those students who want to go to the Olympics can arrange their schedules so they can attend.

    “It is all a matter of planning,” Lopez said.

    Karl Worthington, UVSC associate vice president for academic affairs, said like BYU, the college most likely will not close for the Olympics.

    Worthington said he doesn’t think that it will hurt students’ grades to stay in school during the Olympics.

    University of Utah students will be taking a three-week spring break in February of 2002 for the Olympics, even though the university facilities will stay open.

    University of Utah Intern Coordinator for the Olympics, Gwen Springmeyer said the Olympics will provide great opportunities by offering internships for students.

    She said she has already placed about 35 interns — some from other colleges in the state and even one student from California.

    “This will really enhance our departments,” Springmeyer said. “It will enhance our sports medicine department (with) participating interns.”

    She said she feels the faculty is excited and hopes the Olympics will help the University.

    “I think the (University of Utah) faculty represents the whole of Utah. They have a kind of cautious excitement. There are mixed feelings everywhere you go,” Springmeyer said.

    She said the University of Utah still has a long way to go for housing many of the Olympic events. They are shutting down the dorms from December until March, but do not know exactly where students will go.

    “Not all the loose ends are tied up. We are talking to the students to decide what to do. We’ve even discussed buying apartment buildings to house the students” Springmeyer said.

    She said classes will begin in January as usual, but there will be no break for Martin Luther King Day, and the students will be out of school on time in May.

    Springmeyer said the only real difference will be the break from Feb. 2 to Feb. 26, instead of the usual spring break.

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