A mid-semester fall break is something many students have sought for some time. Responding to this desire, the Board of Regents approved, at their meeting Dec. 13, a proposal for a fall break. The two-day break will be over a Monday and Tuesday in mid-October. In exchange, Fall semester will begin the Tuesday after Labor Day instead of Wednesday. The change will go into effect beginning Fall term 2002.
This break from classes is intended to decrease students stress and improve the quality of their work, says the action request submitted to the Regents by Lisa Tedesco, vice president and secretary of the University. Tedesco also stated that the fall break will help first-year students as they adjust to college.
We believe both faculty and students will experience the educational benefits of a break, says Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs. It will allow students to devote time to long-term projects and produce better work. Matt Nolan and the MSA members who worked on this proposal did an excellent job of researching options and then vetting their proposals across campus. They are to be congratulated.
The change will require the orientation programs for many schools and programs to be rescheduled since many of those activities took place the Tuesday after Labor Day. After considering the pros and cons, the Office of New Student Programs believes that the benefits of a fall Study Break outweigh the impact of rescheduling activities.
Michigan Student Assembly President Matthew Nolan pointed out at a prior presentation before the Regents that every Ivy League school has a fall break and that the proposed academic calendars will have a higher average number of class days than the 1990s average.
Its been amazing to see a project initiated by students successfully work its way through the channels and have the administration as an ally, says Nolan.