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Michigan State basketball game at full capacity Image: Michigan State Spartans

The Michigan State University (US) allowed basketball games to continue at 100 percent attendance capacity despite shutting down in-person learning for nearly the entire month of January.

The ‘FOX NEWS’ stated that attendance at all of Michigan State University’s home basketball games in the month of January at the Breslin Center was at 100 percent capacity with 14,797 fans in attendance.

The Michigan State University is a public land-grant research university in East Lansing, Michigan (US). The Michigan State University was founded in 1855 and served as a model for land-grant colleges and universities later created under the Morrill Act of 1862.

The 15,000-capacity Jack Breslin Student Events Center is a multipurpose arena at the Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Michigan. The arena opened in 1989, and is named for Jack Breslin, MSU alumnus, former athlete and administrator, who first began pushing for the arena in 1969.

However, in a December 31st, 2021 message to the campus community, the Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley Jr. said that classes would begin remotely for the Spring semester due to “the State of Michigan reaching an all-time high in cases per day”.

Stanley wrote in the announcement, “Given this intense surge in cases, we now feel the best decision for our campus is to start classes primarily remotely on January 10th and for at least the first three weeks of the semester.”

The ‘FOX NEWS’ further stated that the Michigan State University does require proof of coronavirus vaccination or a negative test for all basketball game attendees, and has an indoor mask requirement. Concession stands are only selling beverages, according to the university website.

One Michigan State University student Blake Maday said it’s “wildly hypocritical” for the university to hold basketball games at 100 percent capacity, but force students to attend classes online.

Fumed Maday, “The fact that students can fill the (Breslin Center) packed shoulder to shoulder for hours before the game, for the entirety of the game and be together for, you know, probably three hours at night with no social distancing, not even including all the outsiders being brought in to campus for the game, it’s wildly hypocritical.”

Maday also thinks the decision is “more of a revenue decision than a health and safety decision”.

In an announcement on Friday, Stanley announced that in-person classes would resume on January 31st.

Dan Olsen, the Deputy Spokesperson for Michigan State University, said that athletic events are optional for students, while classes are not – “Athletics events are optional events that students or the pubic [sic] can attend, unlike classes which are required for our students to progress toward their degree and graduate. Our decision to start the first three weeks remotely was difficult and was influenced by two key factors. One factor was the uncertainty at the time of Omicron and having some time to understand it and its impact better.”

Olsen said that the other factor in switching classes to a remote format is the number of students who could be forced to quarantine if classes were to be held in-person.

Added Olsen, “The other factor was recognizing we would have a significant increase in cases that would result in hundreds of students and employees needing to be out of the classroom quarantining or isolating. We wanted to ensure consistency in the first weeks of our Spring semester so everyone had an equal opportunity to learn with as less of a disruption to their education as possible.”

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