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Students survive without Fall Break

by Hillary Straba

 

For the first time in eight years, VSU students have to power through the fall semester without Fall Break.

Last year, the Academic Scheduling and Procedures Committee approved an academic calendar change that omitted Fall Break and instead gave students a full week off for Thanksgiving (previously, classes were still in session on the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week).

Despite not having Fall Break this semester, students seem happy with having a full week off for Thanksgiving.

“Not having a Fall Break isn’t that big of a deal,” Jewelle Pope, sophomore psychology major, said. “I am all right not having a Fall Break if it means we get an entire week off for Thanksgiving.”

The Faculty Senate may soon propose another change to the academic calendar. The desired changes will include both a Fall Break and a full week off for Thanksgiving as well as extending finals for an entire week. To make up for the lost time in the classroom, classes would begin three days earlier than it currently does in August. This is necessary to maintain the required amount of class time.

Dr. Aubrey Fowler, Faculty Senate vice president and president elect, said he wants to stress that the changes originated as an attempt to extend finals week.

“We want our cake and want to eat it, too,” Dr. Fowler said. “I think that’s the way it is across the entire university.”

Dr. Fowler acknowledged that there are some who dislike the proposal; however, he says there has been an overwhelming response in favor of it.

President William McKinney was contacted but said he did not want to comment until the matter had been discussed by students and faculty.

This proposal would have to clear several hurdles before it could be implemented. According to Dr. Fowler, a subsection of the ASPC is scheduled to meet Friday.

“Hopefully we can come to some resolution and then it will go back to the larger academic scheduling committee group,” Dr. Fowler said. “Then from there any change to the original proposal, whatever their recommendations are, will be submitted to Faculty Senate. Hopefully we should be able to vote on it in November.”

While the new schedule may upset some students or faculty members, this is not a new thing for the university.

From 1998 until 2004, VSU did not have a Fall Break. Dr. David Wasieleski, a professor in the Psychology and Counseling Department, has been at VSU since the university shifted from the quarter system to the semester system in 1998.

In 2005, VSU implemented a Fall Break for the first time.

“The whole reason it went to Fall Break in the first place is (because) that’s what students wanted,” Dr. Wasieleski said.

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