By Megan Lockhart | Reporter
The Creative Arts Experience is introducing online options and limited venue size to its events in response to COVID-19 regulations.
The CAE program was introduced in the form of Cultural Events Experience in the 2019 graduation plan for the College of Arts and Sciences.
The CAE’s mission is to focus more on the art aspect of the core requirement as it was “intended for the fine arts, specifically art, music, theatre, film, and literature, with the additional focus of these arts as seen through the lens of world cultures,” its website said; CAE was “conceived and promoted by the fine arts departments at Baylor as a more inclusive and meaningful way to engage students in the arts.”
According to Director of the Creative Arts Experience Kaity Briscoe, the CAE worked on reprogramming over the summer to meet the new challenges of the fall semester.
“We had the opportunity to spend the summer season collaborating with our sponsoring departments to identify new and amended ways to deliver in-person CAE events,” Briscoe said in an email interview,
Briscoe stated that in order to adjust, many events will be put on over Zoom and those that are in person will be vastly limited in size. CAE has also incorporated new events that are more friendly toward social distancing guidelines.
“We are excited to be offering online events in every CAE category this fall. These include live performances, asynchronous museum tours and foreign language films, just to mention a few,” Briscoe said.
Although organizers of the CAE program have worked hard to create an enjoyable space that is also compatible with COVID-19 regulations, some students, including Los Angeles junior Audrey Turman, feel that an in person experience is still favorable to online as participants miss out on the social aspect of the events if attending from online spaces.
“I do wish that I could attend events in person and meet people so I could really make the most of the Baylor community, but for now this feels like a safe option to maintain events and some sense of normalcy, while also making sure the COVID-19 cases on campus stay low enough that we can continue attending class,” Turman said.
Although it will be a different experience, Baylor is using innovation in order to continue CAE events in a safe way.
“I think the most important thing is the safety of students, staff and faculty so the Zoom meetings and smaller venues are a super innovative way to try and continue traditions and a sense of the college experience while keeping everyone safe,” Turman said.
CAE is just one of the many programs having to develop to meet COVID-19 regulations as the university converts its events and traditions to meet new safety standards. However, some students, such as Cranberry Township, Pa., junior Tanner Gross disagree with Baylor’s actions despite not knowing how much Baylor is spending around the university.
“Baylor’s response to all these things has been good enough to keep us on campus, but perhaps not a good use of the funds allocated to the university as nobody makes use of the tents that cost next to a fortune to maintain. I am happy to be on campus, but some of the measures to maintain an on-campus culture have been too extreme and unnecessary,” Gross said.
The CAE may be a different experience this semester, but with heightened fears about the pandemic, faculty is working to keep students safe while still allowing them to complete their graduation requirement.
“We love the additional flexibility online options provide our students, we know everyone may be facing increased pressures and anxieties in this season, and we wanted to make the CAE as accessible as possible this fall, allowing our students access to meaningful, world class artistic experiences right from their screens,” Briscoe said.