Faculty Senate reaches agreement on academic calendar

The Faculty Senate voted on the 2010-11 academic year calendar this Monday. The Student Government Association (SGA) was present at the meeting in order to offer the senate their proposals for the calendar “We formulated what we thought students would like best for the calendar because there’s not much of a student voice on the Faculty Senate,” SGA Public Relations Chair Katie Rifken said. The SGA’s proposals were a culmination of student polls and input, Rifkin said. Key issues included substituting the long weekend in October for a more substantial November break and asking that Town Meeting Day be recognized as a school holiday she said. Faculty Senate President James Burgmeier said that certain requirements limited the flexibility of the calendar despite conflicting demands about how early to start or the amount of vacation time allotted for the year.Each semester requires 69 teaching days said Burgmeier. The Senate granted the five-day November break, but decided to remove Town Meeting Day from the calendar. “That was the only part of our proposal that was denied” Rifkin Said. Another change in the calendar was the reduction of final exam time from three hours to two hours and 45 minutes. Despite the loss of town meeting day, the SGA felt that its dialogue with the Faculty Senate went well. “Our concerns were addressed and we had a very good conversation with them,” Rifkin Said. She applauded the willingness of the Senate to acknowledge the voice of students and hear their concerns.”It was very encouraging,” Rifkin said.