NLU's Plans during NATO summitNational Louis University's Chicago campus (122 S. Michigan) and Annex (200 S. Michigan) will be closed May 17-21, 2012, in anticipation of protests of the NATO summit being held May 20-21 in the city.
All University business will continue uninterrupted from NLU’s other campus locations during this time, as there will be no access to the Chicago buildings. Classes and operations at all other campuses will occur as usual. Normal business hours for the Chicago campus will resume on Tuesday, May 22.
Brisbane Rouzan, executive director of student services, who is heading up NLU's NATO efforts, said students should check their NLU email and /or Blackboard for further information from their professors or contact their professor directly.
Up to the minute information about unexpected changes in the university’s activities and schedules during the NATO Summit may be found on our website www.nl.edu, under the Announcement tab. Questions about admission, advising, financial aid, registration, student finance, academics and all other areas may be directed to 855.NLU.TODAY (888.658.8632).
The decision to close the Chicago campus was based on both safety and operations concerns, Rouzan said, and he believes NLU is ready to handle the shifts the summit is requiring.
"We're pretty well abreast of it," he said. "We knew about a year ago that they were coming, and the school started making arrangements, so we feel pretty good."
The NATO summit will bring more than 50 heads of state to Chicago, and though it is centered at McCormick Place, delegates will be staying at hotels up and down Michigan Avenue and State Street, making the area around NLU a target for protestors. City police are expecting protestors to be out in force.
The U.S. Secret Service, which is coordinating all security for the summit, announced precautions that will go into effect in the days before the meeting, including parking restrictions and road closures. Sections of Lake Shore Drive, the Stevenson Expressway, Roosevelt Road and other routes feeding into McCormick Place will be closed Saturday, May 19, through the end of the summit. The Kennedy and Dan Ryan expressways will have intermittent closures, as will select streets in the Loop near special events for dignitaries.
Rouzan has been keeping up on these developments along with fellow Loop college officials in monthly meetings of the Security Council of Professional Educators. He’s also attended similar meetings for the Chicago Loop Alliance and informational sessions held by city government. He feels the city has been open to the concerns of schools and businesses affected by the summit.