Student Affairs at the University of Guelph shared a proposal for lengthening the fall study break with the campus on Wednesday, in a change that will not affect University of Guelph-Humber students. 

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If the proposal is approved, the fall reading week would be from Oct. 8 until Oct. 10 with classes resuming on Oct. 11, the Thursday after the Thanksgiving holiday, altering the academic schedule for the university.

A town hall event will be held on Jan. 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Thornborough building in room 1307, open to all students for comments to heard and discussed previous to the proposal being considered by the university’s governing bodies.

The email was received by those attending the university, but students at the University of Guelph-Humber did not receive the proposal despite traditionally having to follow the same academic schedule as Guelph.

A copy of the email seen by the Post says that “dates are altered so that the fall study break be extended by one day”, and, as a result, classes would start a day earlier for semester one this fall.

Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Brenda Whiteside sent the proposal out to all University of Guelph students Wednesday afternoon, however, it failed to reach Guelph-Humber students for consideration.

Third year Bachelor of Arts and Science student Melanie White told the Post that “the proposal isn’t worth what is being given up.”

“If we were going to get a full reading week I would be on board, but the fact that they are taking so much out of orientation week only to give one extra day at our fall break seems a bit extreme to me.”

A different version of the proposal was emailed to club officials but its contents are unknown to the Post at this time.

Guelph-Humber Vice Provost John Walsh and one student senator have not responded to a Post request for comment.

It is unclear whether the University of Guelph-Humber would continue to follow the same academic schedule should the proposal be accepted.

University of Guelph from Twitter.

Rational: Appease students, faculty

Whiteside in her email explained the rationale behind the proposal is to address the “desire among many undergraduate students and some faculty members to expand the fall break beyond the current one day”, the shortest among universities in Ontario.

One of the primary concerns over lengthening the break was the impact on the end of the term, with students stressing having the current number of days they have off between semesters being a priority.

However, the current proposal, which Whiteside said came out of there “being no consensus regarding the best option” dispute discussions with student leaders, faculty, staff and at Senate, where Guelph-Humber has four student representatives.

Following the town hall, the proposal will first be considered at a joint meeting of the Board’s of Undergraduate Studies and Graduate Studies, before being sent for Senate consideration on Feb. 5, two weeks later.

Vice Provost of Guelph-Humber John Walsh represents the campus in the Guelph Senate, along with four elected undergraduate senators: Dalton Beseau, Dilshan Jayasinghe, Ameerah McLean and Priya Rajkumar.

It is unclear whether University of Guelph-Humber students will have a say in the town hall, but GH senators will be part of the discussion when the proposal reaches the Senate.

More details to follow. Image of University of Guelph’s Johnston Hall from 1460 CJOY. 

Written by Eli Ridder

Eli Ridder is a freelance journalist. He founded The Avro Post in October 2017. He writes for Breaking911 and Guelph Politico, among others. Feel free to connect at ELIRIDDER@ICLOUD.COM or at ELIRIDDER.CA

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