Fall break strongly considered as Laurier falls behind trend
This year, the issue of fall reading days seems like more of an imminent certainty, rather than a divisive possibility.
The urgency this year is at least partially due to an increased number of schools close by introducing fall reading days while Laurier lags behind the trend. In previous years, the school has been adamant about not rushing into such a large initiative and emphasized the research taking place to inform a final decision. It is disheartening, however, that we are only now discussing the issue with a sense of urgency because we don’t want to be left behind. Instead, we should be worried about how fall reading week will work at Laurier, how programming will be impacted and whether it is best for our students. Putting in a fall break is the right decision but it is unfortunate that important issues like mental health are not enough of a motivator.
It is reasonable to assume that orientation week will be adapted in some fashion for fall reading days to work. Opposition to fall reading days has largely related to a firm stance regarding the importance of Laurier’s week-long orientation. It has even been presented as a recruiting tool but certainly any recruitment advantage from O-week is lost without a fall break. Even if O-week attracts students, a lack of fall reading week will detract them. Students are likely more receptive to an extra break than a shortened orientation week, especially because they do not know what orientation week is but can fully conceptualize a week long break.
Now that fall reading week truly seems inevitable, we have to be truthful in both support and opposition and figure out a way to make it work. There is nothing wrong with being the last school to implement fall reading days if the university is doing so in the best interest of students. If we do it last, we can also learn from other schools and do it best. Transition into a major change will be much smoother when the university and its students are well equipped and have taken the time to understand the impact of the proposed change.