Op-Ed Article in The Chronicle, Fall Break Update

I want to take this opportunity to provide an update on the Fall Break Proposal that is currently sitting in the Faculty Senate. I stated earlier in the semester that this initiative has been stalled in the Faculty Senate for over one year. It has been a little over a month since I reported that your Student Government was planning to resurrect the proposal and initiate a more candid discussion regarding the posited fall break. Since that announcement I have met with many key members of the Faculty Senate and lobbied hard on behalf of the Student Body. While there are those who are in full support of the proposal, I am disheartened by what I have been hearing from those opposed to the idea of fall break.

In a conversation with the Chair of the Faculty Senate after the October meeting it was hinted that there was such resounding contention to the proposal mainly due to an egotistical necessity to maintain autonomy from Purdue University West Lafayette. He went even further, stating that the primary mission of a university is not student centric but focused rather on faculty research and grant writing. An interesting position to take considering that were it not for Purdue University Calumet Student Body there would be no purpose for a Faculty Senate. Another member of the Faculty Senate stated that Purdue University Calumet students were not a main constituency. Such a hard-line to take for members of a body which has unequivocal authority over the curriculum and the academic calendar at Purdue University Calumet.

At the October meeting of the Faculty Senate it was stated that the deadline for changing the 2010-2011 academic calendar was December 1st 2009. It may seem like two months would be more than enough time to make a decision regarding whether or not to institute what is essentially a two-day break, but that is definitely not the case. The December meeting of the Faculty Senate is scheduled for December 2nd which, being the day after the deadline, means that a decision must be made at the November meeting which is this Wednesday at 3:30pm inSULB 321. I have asked that the Academic Support Services Committee, which oversees the creation of the academic calendar, prepare a mock-up of the 2010-2011 academic calendar that includes a two-day break in October so that the Faculty Senate can see what is being proposed and how it would effect the balance between the fall and spring semesters.

Until this point the Faculty Senate has stalled a measure that would give the Student Body a two-day break in October to rest and relax or catch-up on coursework. These stall tactics will no longer be tolerated by your Student Government. It is simply unacceptable to continue to ignore the needs of the students in order to maintain an overstated sense of autonomy. It’s time that the members of the Faculty Senate do what is in the best interest of the Student Body.

The Student Government will continue to advocate for the Student Body and push for a fall break at Purdue University Calumet but we need your help. Please attend the Faculty Senate meeting this Wednesday at 3:30pm in SULB 321 and show your support for the Fall Break Proposal. 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.

~David L. Ober; Student Body President