WLU enjoys a longer break

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Unlike the past few years, students, staff and faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University are returning back to campus later than in past years, as we had an unusually long break this year.

Although scrutinized in previous years, the office of the registrar is still maintaining that the later start date in January of this year and the earlier date in January 2012 were due to guidelines set out by Laurier’s senate.

At the beginning of each year, in this case on Nov. 23, the senate produces guidelines for academic dates for the following year. The 2013-2014 academic dates have already been established. For example, in fall of 2013, students will be coming back to school on September 9 and on January 6 for the winter semester.

For constructing these academic dates the senate uses ten guidelines.

The most basic aspect of these guidelines outline that “the start date for the fall term be the Monday following Labour Day [and] … the winter term Reading Week is the week containing the third Monday in February,” Darling explained, adding how these guidelines dictate the university’s academic calendar and affect the length of breaks.

“There are guidelines for setting academic dates that dictate these things [longer breaks],” said Darling. “It is really out of my control as to how these things are set.”

Despite the complaints last year, many Laurier students and staff were pleased with the longer break this year.

Ali Berish, a third year Laurier student enjoyed having more time off.

“It allowed me to do everything I wanted to do,” she explained.

However, she says that she has heard mixed feelings regarding the longer break.

“Some people got bored during the holidays, so I could see why they would go back sooner and see their friends in Waterloo,” she continued.

Barbara Carmichael, a WLU professor, also believes the longer break is good for students.

“The longer break might work well for students – one more week to work to earn fees,” she expressed.

Geoffrey Stevens, another WLU professor, echoed Carmichael’s comments.

“One, [it] gives me time to prepare for the term and two it coincides with the high school schedule,” he said.

This makes it easier for staff with children in those years to plan holidays and  allows many university students with younger siblings to travel with them.

Whatever the reasons may be, the consensus seems to be that the longer break this year was much appreciated by staff, faculty and students.

Although there are several senate guidelines the registrar upholds, the majority of semester schedules are based on “how the calendar falls,” Darling concluded.

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