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Faculty Senate: No more fall break

Written by Joe Adgie


Fall Break is no more, Thanksgiving Break is now one week long and Winter Break is now one week longer.

Those were the recommendations given out by the Faculty Senate on Thursday afternoon, after arguments were heard from both sides of the issue of the date changes. These recommendations will be sent to President William McKinney, who will either approve or deny the changes.

“Last semester, we had Fall Break on Monday and Tuesday, right?” asked José Vélez-Marulanda, assistant professor of mathematics. “So many of my class didn’t come on Wednesday.”

Vélez-Marulanda went on to explain that while the idea of a fall break was good in theory, it was not good in practice, as students would wind up missing valuable class time.

Another professor had problems with how late the schedule was being adjusted.

“What is the process of making this decision?” Catherine Schaeffer, associate professor of dance, said.

“[… T]he people in theatre and dance and art and symphony have a deadline for securing rights for plays and making an extensive schedule for who gets to do what and when.

“That’s already been done based on thinking that this decision had been made. Who’s making the final calendar? We need to know, and we need to purchase rights for plays, and once you’ve set your schedule, you can’t change it, because there are thousands of people involved.”

Jimmy Bickerstaff, assistant professor of theatre, echoed those sentiments.

“With so many activities scheduled and so many different facilities involving thousands of people, to have us still talking about the schedule at this point is way late for us,” Bickerstaff said. “It needs to be done at least a year in advance.”

Maren Clegg-Hyer, associate professor of English, explained that the scheduling normally was done in advance, and another organization – one that was not named – had planned things out a long time in advance, and these sort of changes should not continue.

“Once we set the dates, we need to think about more of these things so we don’t have this problem again in the future,” she said.

The vote for replacing Fall Break with a week-long Thanksgiving Break was 35 in favor, seven against, and two abstaining. The vote for pushing spring semester back a week was unanimous.

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