The Board of Regents has accepted a plan to change the academic calendar for the 2013-14 to 2019-20 academic years that would include starting the first week of every semester with a full week of classes and splitting the week of finals into two weeks that would fall immediately before and after the last weekend of the fall semester.
A full week of classes will be held before any long weekend, as opposed to the current system that starts classes mid-week before Labor Day weekend.
Since the first week is a full week, it eliminates the first Monday of the fall semester, when the Student Organizations Fair is normally held and first-year students are encouraged to find their classes.
“By the time freshmen get here, a lot of people are already on campus,” Student Government Association President Alissa VanMeeteren said. “We can just condense the activities.”
VanMeeteren said some clubs, such as Alternate Week of Off-Campus Living, or AWOL, already encourage student involvement before the semester starts.
“I would love to see more programs like that,” VanMeeteren said.
The calendar was reviewed by the Faculty Senate and Academic Council.
“It has odd consequences for winter graduation,” Faculty Senate Secretary Brennan Jordan said to the Student Government Association on Nov. 6.
Winter graduation could occur in the middle of finals week, or several days after finals week.
First-year Liz Pekas said she prefers the new schedule, and she did not think the first Monday with no classes was an asset for students to begin with.
“If you go home over the weekend, it could be harder to study,” Pekas said. “But if finals week is split up, you kind of need to stay for the weekend.”
Other first-years, such as Sydney Hayes, said they enjoyed having the old schedule.
“I kind of like the short first week,” Hayes said. “It was nice to get used to the campus.”
Although a upholding these changes could be confusing at first, VanMeeteren said she does not see much of a challenge.
“I don’t think we will lose much,” VanMeeteren said.