Student Senate

Winter Break shortened due to Arch

GM JUSTIN ETZINE ’18 ACKNOWLEDGES concerns over changes to the academic calendar.

The Student Senate adjourned its first meeting of the semester after only 24 minutes, having addressed the reduction of the length of Winter Break in the 2018–2019 academic calendar, the few vacant Senate positions, and progress on committee projects.

In his report, Grand Marshal Justin Etzine ’18 said that he discussed the changes to the academic calendar with Provost Prabhat Hajela and Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Linda S. Schadler—specifically, the reduction of the Winter Break from three weeks to just over two weeks.

The change was made to keep consistency between the semesterly breaks; there will be two weeks of recess between the Fall and Spring semesters, the Spring and Arch semesters, and the Arch and Fall semesters.

Etzine shared that many students have expressed concerns about this change, and that he tends to agree, as “two weeks is not necessarily sufficient to recuperate after the rigor that our semesters have.” He also acknowledged the importance of this time for graduate students preparing for classes.

According to Etzine, the length of the already-approved Winter Break likely cannot be changed. However, he plans to continue these discussions about future academic years.

Etzine announced four vacancies on the Senate, which included the positions of graduate senator, Class of 2021 senator, Greek senator, and parliamentarian.

Community Relations Committee Chairperson Michael Gardner shared that two calendar-related projects are currently in development, one of which would be used to host local community service projects. The other would be a Union club social calendar, which was requested by an overwhelming majority of students who responded to the Senate survey.

This semester, the Student Life Committee will be focusing on concrete handbook revisions, Greek proposals, and revamping the Student Health Center, which was cited as a major concern on the Senate survey.

Union Annual Report Committee Chairperson Joe Venusto ’19 announced that the Activity Fee will be presented at the next meeting, and the UAR will be brought up in the following week. The separation is a change that is being introduced to prevent the Activity Fee failing solely over concerns with the report.

The Student Senate now meets on Wednesdays at 8 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery.