Written by Nick Mitchell
Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve just returned to school from Spring Break. Which coincidentally happens to be many people’s favorite part of the entire spring semester. In fact it seems that many student’s favorite part about school, from kindergarten to college graduation, is the breaks we get. It stands to reason then that the possibility of a brand new Fall Break appeals to many students. There are pros and cons of this proposed break as well as steps that must be taken becomes a reality.
The specific change to the calendar that is being proposed is cancelling school on the Monday and Tuesday of the ninth week of the semester. This serves the purpose of providing some mental rest for students in the weeks leading up to thanksgiving and finals. This is particularly important for incoming freshman, who will be adjusting to the new workload placed upon them and dealing with the stress that their first college final examinations will bring. According to the author of the bill, Diane Bailey, “It would provide an opportunity for students, graduate students [and] faculty to have a break in the middle of the semester to recoup some of our energy so that we might progress in the second part of the semester with full strength.”
Unfortunately, these free days do not come from thin air. In order to keep the number of lessons constant the school year will start two days earlier. Essentially trading in two days of summer in order to get a breather in the midst of the academic semester. This is where the difficult part comes in, especially for students of the College of Natural Sciences. According to a member of the faculty council, “In order for the University to provide the required number of lab sessions in a semester we would have to begin on the first week of school.
Because of how quickly class membership changes during this first week with adds and drops many natural science faculty feel uncomfortable with this change.” Another associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences states ,”I believe this move would influence the effectiveness of my own course and others like it.”
The views of the Faculty Council is important, according to the bylaws of faculty senate, if a certain number of objections to a piece of legislation are filed (25 in this case), then the bill must be presented to the faculty senate at large rather than simply going through its committee. As it turns out over twice that number of protests were filed. This means that on April 18th the Faculty will meet to vote on whether or not we as students get the opportunity to have a fall break. Our faculty respects and listens to the voices and concerns of students. Whether you support or oppose the idea of a fall break, talk to your teachers, and let them know how you feel.