Op-ed Article in The Chronicle About Fall Break

This semester we have picked up where we left off with an initiative to institute a fall break at Purdue University Calumet. Students have been asking though “What exactly does this plan mean for me?” I want to take this opportunity to explain the plan to the University Community. The Faculty Senate is a legislative body made-up of professors from each department on campus. This body has authority over many things but relating to this topic, they set the academic calendar for the university. The Student Government has submitted a proposal to the Faculty Senate to adopt a new formula for creating the academic calendar each year.

This new formula includes a two-day suspension of classes in mid-October, which consists of a Monday and Tuesday. This essentially creates a four-day weekend where students can rest and prepare themselves for the second half of the semester. It is our hope that this break will occur during week nine of the semester which is right after midterm exams for most students. The proposal also serves to sync Purdue University Calumet with the other colleges and universities in the state by beginning the Fall semester a week earlier than it currently does.

To some members of the University Community, this aspect of the plan is the single point of contention. It is this moot point that has stalled the initiative for over a year in various committees of the Faculty Senate. The simple fact is that our plan proportions the Fall semester so that students receive a break when they need it most rather than extend the Summer break by a week.

These are the only major changes that are being proposed. Students will still be able to enjoy a break for to celebrate Labor Day as well as a Thanksgiving break consisting of the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday of the fourth week in November. Our goal with this proposal is to support PUC students in their goal to obtain an education and make that process a little bit easier.

A Fall break has been proposed in the past and has been met with a lot of opposition from the Faculty Senate. We want to get this done but we need support from PUC students in order to reach this goal. We need students to ask their professors to support this initiative, especially if your professor sits on the Faculty Senate. A list of the professors who sit on the Faculty Senate can be found at http://webapp.calumet.purdue.edu/facultysenate by clicking on the “Senate Members 2009-2011” link.

We also need students to inform other students about what we are trying to do. It is my hope that with enough student support we will see the Faculty Senate make the right decision and that is to set their students up for success rather than failure by giving them a break during the Fall semester.

If you are interested in helping us with this campaign please send an email to pucstudent.gov@gmail.com with “Give Me A Break!” as the subject or give us a call at (219) 989-2885. Thank you!

~David L. Ober; Student Body President