After two years of negotiations, on Wednesday, Nov. 3, the Students’ Association (SA) finally got the approval from the College Deans’ office to extend Fall Break to a two-day break. This change will go into effect for the 2011 – 2012 academic year.

The SA passed a motion in October of 2008 to ask that the College extend the October Fall Break for UR undergraduate students to consist of two days: a Monday and a Tuesday.

In November of 2009 the proposal was sent to the Steering Committee of the Faculty Council of the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering for consideration. Due to some apprehensions, the proposal was put on hold for later consideration.

The previous SA President Eric Weissmann ’10 collected student feedback on the extension, which was in favor of extending the break, and sent a revised version of the proposal back to the Faculty Steering committee for further discussion in the spring of 2010. Finally, the proposal was approved and included in the agenda for the Faculty Council meeting held in April, but members of the council still had concerns and the proposal was once again tabled.

The current SA President and junior Scott Strenger continued to advocate for and work on the proposal during the Fall 2010 semester with the College Deans’ office and the University Registrar. Additionally, the new proposal also included a standard three-day reading period prior to final exams for the Fall Semester. This reading period is now identical to the reading period during the spring semester.

“Although the process has been long, it allowed us to evaluate all angels of the calendar changes and put together a new academic calendar that is both beneficial to students and faculty,” Strenger said.

This past September, the SA Senate reasserted their support for the proposal informally and the Faculty Council Steering Committee approved the proposal for their agenda in their November meeting. At the meeting the proposal was well received by the Faculty, thus further affirming the College Deans’ office decision to approve the proposal and extend Fall Break in the academic calendar.

“I am extremely excited about the changes to the academic calendar,” Strenger said. “It will benefit students in multiple ways from the ability to attend academic conferences to class bonding trips and a must needed fall relaxation.”

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