As of Oct. 15, chapel is officially being moved back to Christ Chapel from the Rowenhorst Student Center. While some students are pleased with the decision, many are concerned about the capacity of Christ Chapel
There are still many students who need to get chapel credits and don’t believe students will all fit into the chapel. Tuesday is a big concern, as it’s the day most people attend chapel to get their credits.
For students who don’t feel comfortable being in such a small space, they are worried about getting all of their credits.
One student, who wishes to remain anonymous said, “I don’t want to go to chapel and sit close to people due to health reasons, but I also don’t want to get in trouble for not getting all of my chapel credits.”
One solution they gave was to offer an online version of chapel, granted the college would have to find a way to monitor attendance. This would allow for those who do not feel comfortable to still get their credits while feeling safe.
Another alternative some students shared would be to have chapel viewings at different locations, like the Vogel Room or classrooms in Van Peursem Hall, where students can socially distance and get their credits. The Dean of Christian Formation, Mark DeYounge, sent out an email to all students Oct. 20. This idea was mentioned in this email. However, no definite plan was offered leaving many wondering what chapel will even look like.
With chapel moving to Christ Chapel, the distractions that come along with being near the DeWitt Fitness Center will be removed. Students sitting near the fitness center entrance will no longer have to block out the noise of people running on treadmills or lifting weights.
It also gives students the sense of community that they love about Northwestern. Instead of having to be six feet apart from friends and roommates, students can now sit in groups of up to three people. Ultimately, the move is bringing students closer together as a community, while still keeping them safe.
With indoor track and field starting soon, this will allow athletes to start practice inside as winter approaches. Not only is this space opened up for track, but it also allows community members to once again use the track at their leisure.
The 4-court area being open will allow students to play basketball, volleyball or do other activities that chapel previously hindered. Many students are hoping this will allow more intramurals to be offered as activities outside become more limited with upcoming cold weather.
The decision to move was not made lightly, and many are thankful for the thoughts and prayers that went into this decision by president Greg Christy, the Pandemic Response Team and Allison Cahill, athletic facilities director. The opening of the 4-court area brings hope to everyone that maybe life on campus is slowly returning to what was once considered “normal.”