Editorial - Fall break may be problematic
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 13, 2012 03:04
Everyone enjoys a little extra time for rest and relaxation, especially after enduring a stressful period, such as midterms.
This is why West Virginia University officials are proposing a fall break, which may be implemented in the next school year. The break would be an extended weekend falling on the ninth week of classes.
"Studies show a break like this could help decrease behavioral problems and even keep students motivated and stay in school longer," said WVU Faculty Senate Chair Lesley Cottrell.
The break sounds like a good idea for WVU students, faculty and staff, but it could present some problems.
Some fear the new fall break may force the University to shorten Thanksgiving break. This is the one time of the school year on which students can rely. There is no debating its schedule, Thanksgiving always occurs on the last Thursday in November, and many look forward to the tradition of spending the entire week with family.
Other students may be concerned whether dorms will be open during the proposed break. Since it will be an extended weekend and not an entire week, many students may choose to stay in Morgantown and not make a long trip home. If the dorms are closed, students will be forced to spend extra money – which many can’t afford – to drive home for a weekend.
Furthermore, football games may be hindered. If a large number of students leave town, the student section may be empty. With WVU entering the Big 12 next year, students should pack the stands at every game, giving other schools within the conference a promising first impression of WVU.
The University will also be under the gun because of its required 15 weeks of instruction. The break may demand further changes to the schedule – possibly beginning the semester earlier and extending its length.
Faculty senate will further discuss the issue at its meeting on May 14.
It is a great idea to implement new ideas to increase students’ progress, but the University should not go forth with the new break at too high of a cost.
While the time off would surely be enjoyed by all, we must put priorities first.