During their meeting Wednesday night, ASG Senate heard several possible changes the university may make to the academic calendar. While no formal proposals have been made, Associate Provost Ronald Brauetigam and Associate Professor Baron Reed presented calendar modifications the administration is considering and received preliminary feedback from ASG members.
Reed and Brauetigam primarily discussed moving up the school year's start date so it falls closer to Labor Day. This would allow fall quarter to finish before Thanksgiving, which would consequently lead to spring quarter finishing up in May rather than June. Brauetigam said this would help with students who pursue internships or other work during the summer, as they could have more traditional start and end dates. Last year, an ASG survey found that 42 percent of studens had experienced some type of professional disadvantage as a result of the university's current, later start date, and Brauetigam said he hoped to find a solution so the calendar year doesn't pose as big of an issue for students.
Brauetigam and Reed also suggested the possibility of having mid-quarter break days. Brauetigam pointed out this could be particularly helpful during winter and spring quarters, as it would alleviate what he dubbed the "winter slog": students having 23 weeks of consecutive instruction with only one week off in between. They also brought up the possibilities of shortening quarters from 11 to ten weeks (however, they acknowledged that might put more strain on students), offering remote exams for students who need to leave campus early for an internship or moving senior week to spring break.
From an informal poll Reed administered, ASG senators were receptive to moving up the school start date. Many were also intrigued by the possibility of mid-quarter break days. However, few supported eliminating senior week or pushing it to spring break. When Brauetigam mentioned the idea of lengthening time in between classes from ten to 15 minutes, several senators said they didn't feel that was a big issue for them, and they could always just talk to their professors if they had a class on the other side of campus that was making them late.
Brauetigam and Reed said no changes would be made to the school calendar before 2019. However, they will be formalizing their suggestions and talking to students and faculty the rest of this quarter and next quarter. They will continue to look to ASG, the student body and staff for feedback on any proposed changes.