Photo description: Student Senate Vice President Alex Vieselmeyer closes a Senate meeting in prayer.
Photo credit: Kayla Korb
Student Senate members on Tuesday compiled a list of items to be included in a letter to the Concordia administration requesting Maundy Thursday night classes be moved so students can attend worship services.
The Senate-wide discussion was prompted by a meeting that President Julia Witt and Treasurer Alec Johnston had with Dave Kumm, chief financial officer of Concordia. Kumm suggested that a letter of recommendation be sent to the presidential cabinet as an official way to express student concerns.
Senate officers said the letter is unlikely to impact Maundy Thursday classes this year because of the short time frame but will appeal for a change in following years.
Senate member Nathaniel Mars, who raised the issue at the last meeting, led the discussion and suggested that the Thursday night classes be moved to accommodate Maundy Thursday church services. He also suggested that all official campus events, such as sporting events and music ensembles, be canceled that night so all students have the ability to attend church.
Mars said that since Easter break officially starts on the Friday of Holy Week, the administration should extend the break to Thursday night.
Senate member Victoria Perry said that Maundy Thursday night classes should be made optional or be pre-recorded “so it’s not held against students for not attending.”
“We’re not trying to ask them to be unreasonable,” said Mars. “(We should) mention somehow that we understand that canceling a Thursday night class is hard because it’s essentially an entire week of school, and so that’s why we are asking just for (pre-recording) or moving it somehow, not actually canceling it.”
Senate member Chloe Wells said that the letter to the administration should suggest a specific time frame for what classes and events should be canceled. Mars said that a cutoff of around 6 p.m. on Maundy Thursday for campus events would give students the time needed to get to church.
Senate member Brianna Van Bibber said the letter should aim to convince the administration to change Maundy Thursday classes by emphasizing the importance of faith at Concordia.
“We are a Lutheran campus and we should be going to church,” Van Bibber said.
The items were approved by the Senate, and the first draft will be written by the Senate officers with the help of additional members if necessary.