- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) - Many of Ball State University’s 18,000 students are facing Friday evening and Saturday classes to make up for two days of courses canceled by extreme cold this month.

Ball State officials called off classes Jan. 6-7 on the Muncie campus as wind chills reached about 35 degrees below zero in central Indiana during the first two days of its spring semester. Indiana and Purdue universities also closed their campuses those days, but their classes didn’t start until the following week.

Ball State Provost Terry King said other options considered included extending the end of the semester and taking time away from spring break in March.

The canceled classes will be made up during the Friday evenings of Jan. 31 and Feb. 7 and the Saturdays of Feb. 1 and Feb. 8.

The makeup days were picked because they are the last available days that classes can be held before the end of five-week courses.

“Frankly, there is no great solution to this, but this was the least disruptive, given the short time left in the semester,” King told The Star Press (http://tspne.ws/1jDVXlK ).

Many students complained on social media about the plan for the Friday evening and Saturday classes, with some saying they would clash with their work schedules, child care and other responsibilities.

Faculty Council chairman David Shawger said he understood the anger over the makeup dates, but that the university faces requirements under federal education standards.

“I do not have a good pulse on how the faculty feels, although I’m certain that most feel that they could make up the lost class time by themselves using classroom time and additional online instruments,” Shawger said.

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Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com