Senators voice opinions on potential calendar changes


Gracie Terrall, News Editor

During the Sept. 14 Students’ Association meeting, President Hattie Seten posed three questions for the Senate regarding the academic calendar for the Spring 2021 semester.

These are merely the Senate’s perspectives on the subject: no decisions have been made, nor is it under SA’s jurisdiction to make these decisions.

“What are your thoughts on possibly eliminating spring break to reduce the spread of coronavirus?” -President Hattie Seten

“I think a lot of kids would be very unhappy with the school for that. They’ve already been frustrated with this whole deal already.” -Senator Caleb Huizenga

“To what extent can you control people staying here? You can’t force anyone to do anything beyond a certain point. It’s a fantastic measure, but nonetheless you can only do so much.” -Senator Ravi Panchagnula

“If there was no spring break, how would that affect the academic calendar, because that is a whole week taken out?” -Senator Wendy Blickensderfer

“What are your perspectives on the Monday and Friday holidays? Give your preference to have classes on these days, similar to this semester or for these days to be observed as non-course days.” -President Hattie Seten

“Monday holidays are appreciated —by at least me as a faculty member— to catch a little bit of break, maybe spend a day with my family because I really can’t do that during the academic year.” -Advisor Christopher Schmit

“From what I’ve heard from constituents, they would rather have the Monday holidays, because it is a nice mental break, you kind of get time to get caught up and rejuvenated.” -Finance Chair Sarah Cook

“If spring break were to get canceled and then we have these three day breaks, I could see students taking that as their spring break. That kind of defeats the purpose.” Senator Anthony Shimon

“What are your perspectives on potentially delaying the start of classes a week or two into January to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, potentially contracted during the holidays?” -President Hattie Seten

“I think it would be hard on the mental health of the students who have maybe a bad situation at home and two months of not really doing anything. I would advocate for a J-term option so that we could at least knock out a class or two during that time.” -Chief of Staff Rachel Schoon

“My major concern with taking two weeks off the front end of the semester means that probably has to go onto the back end, which will most likely interfere with a lot of internships and students have already had issues with that due to COVID-19.” -Senator Andrew Rasmussen

“For those students who live on campus and who would have potentially an additional cost incurred if they needed to come to campus before that two week addition, is something I think should be considered.” -Senator Emily Toms

The SDBoR will discuss the potential changes to the academic calendar Oct. 7-8.