On the Future of Study Day(s)
Written by Bwog Staff
We’ve been hoping to see an agreeable resolution since it was discovered that we’d only have one study day this semester. Thanks to student government intervention, we now have two days, but many students still have to leave just two days before Christmas, a time of higher fares and overbooked flights.
Columbia has traditionally started school the day after Labor Day. Since Labor Day fell on September 7 this year, classes started late and exams had to end on December 23. In addition, our Fall Break is shorter than many institutions’.
This is a problem that will repeat every five or six years. September 7, 2015 is the next time the proposed academic calendar shows only one study day, but for the next two fall semesters, exams will end on December 23.
There would appear to be a simple solution to this problem: start classes before Labor Day. This quick fix has proven hard to implement, however. According to student government sources, classes begin after Labor Day to accommodate faculty who send their children to New York City public schools, which start after Labor Day. In addition, shifting the first day of classes back would mean messy changes to the summer term and COOP-like programs and a shorter schedule to ready dorms for students.
Whether this pattern will ever change remains to be seen. The process of calendar-writing is difficult: it is first proposed by the Registrar and is given to the Senate for approval. Ultimately, the Trustees must accept it. Currently, Columbia is planning the 2010-2020 academic calendars and are meeting on Friday to finalize them. Let’s hope they choose to give us students a break and a chance to breathe during the semester.