Committee seeks input on possible fall reading week

Following a year of deliberation and consultation, a university committee is  surveying the Mount Allison community for feedback and suggestions on a possible a fall reading week. There is no chance of a new fall break this year, but with strong support, it could happen soon.

The survey, set to close Friday, Oct. 3, asks about a number of possible reading week configurations and is open to students, faculty and librarians. The survey asks whether respondents would like to see any changes made to the fall academic term and what those changes might be.

“The committee was struck a couple of years ago and brought a proposal to senate last January [2014]. The proposal was that it was not in the university’s best interest to introduce a fall reading break at that time,” said Piper Riley Thompson, the student senator sitting on the committee. “The committee has since been re-established, and we are revisiting the issue of fall reading break,” said Riley Thompson. 

The ad hoc senate committee was created to study the introduction of a fall reading week at Mt. A. The committee is composed of Mt. A vice-president and Provost Karen Grant, registrar Chris Parker, Student Life’s Gayle Churchill, and faculty Lauren Beck and Liam Keliher. Piper Riley Thompson and Stephanie Davis sit as student representatives.

“Students have expressed a desire to have [a fall reading week], and some faculty have as well,” said Lauren Beck, head of the department of modern languages. “We have a certain number of teaching days that we try and fulfill every semester, and so while we have a week long break in the winter semester, the fall semester wasn’t designed with one in mind.”   

The decision whether or not to implement a fall reading week ultimately rests with the senate, which will consider a motion if the committee brings one forward. The committee will decide if it is appropriate to propose a motion after considering the results of the survey.

In order for a fall reading to be approved for next academic year, the committee would have to present a motion at the November meeting of senate, as that is their final meeting before the 2015-2016 academic calendar is approved at the December meeting of senate.

Jean-Sébastien Comeau