The faculty voted unanimously in favor of changing the academic calendar on Monday.
According to the Academic Standing Committee, the new calendar for the 2002-03 academic year will include 70 days of instruction, five days of finals and two reading days per semester. There will be a four- week break between the fall and spring semesters. The spring semester will start the day after Martin Luther King Day, which will make commencement a week later than usual. Additionally, at the end of each semester, any Monday and Friday classes that were lost to holidays will be accounted for.
Junior Aurelia Donnelly, a member of the Academic Board of ASMC, said she is not personally happy with next year’s calendar because she does not want to take Saturday finals. However, Donnelly said that the faculty rightly approved a compromise calendar and she felt that her comments and opinions were welcome and wanted.
“I appreciate the effort made by the faculty and students to engage with each other from a position of mutual respect,” said Donnelly. “It [the calendar] does not meet everyone’s demands, but it is the beginning of what I believe will be a multi-year process, working toward a new academic calendar that reflects academic, personal and institutional values.
Donnelly said she was disappointed that some students came into the calendar discussion too late to be heard.
“I think that highlights a need to make better use of our institutionalized connection with the administration-the Dean of Students,” said Donnelly.
Registrar Alice Knudsen said Monday and Friday classes will meet for the same amount of instructional minutes as Tuesday and Thursday classes. However, she does feel that there should be further adjustments where the amount of instruction is concerned.
“I do feel, though, that the 14 weeks of instruction will make it necessary to adjust elsewhere, either in the amount of time a class meets each week, or in the amount of credit offered,” said Knudsen. “These discussions are already anticipated.”
Government professor Paul Schulman said he was pleased with the new calendar and likes the idea of having four weeks in between semesters.
“It gives me time for decompression and reorganizing my thoughts for the new semester,” said Schulman.