As today’s CCSC roundup mentioned, the University Senate Education Committee passed a resolution last Friday that promises to be a step in the right direction concerning the academic calendar dilemma. A recent press release by Senator Andrew Springer elaborates more on the resolution, stating that its passing will “allow students to petition their Dean of Student Affairs offices to move finals scheduled on December 23rd.” Essentially, if an exam on December 23rd causes any unnecessary burden, a student now has the ability to reschedule it. If passed, the changes will take effect in Fall 2010. The resolution is scheduled to be brought up in the last Senate plenary of the academic year on Friday, April 30th.

It’s worthwhile to note that this doesn’t actually change the academic calendar. The resolution will simply give students a mechanism for moving exams around, much like how current policies allow for undergraduates to reschedule an exam if three fall on one day. Moreover, the resolution doesn’t deal with the shortage of study days at all; student leaders will “continue to work on the issue into the fall.”

Full press release after the jump.

Friday’s resolution from the Senate Education Committee—which will formally allow students to reschedule finals that fall on December 23rd—is a “win for students and an important first step” student senators said Monday morning.

“We’re pleased student and faculty senators could reach a consensus agreement about changing this policy,” said Sen. Tao Tan CC ’07, MBA ’11 and incoming Student Affairs Committee chair. “But this is only the first step in an ongoing process to address student concerns about the academic calendar.”

At the end of January, 1,600 students petitioned the University Senate to either change the academic calendar to end before December 23rd or to “change its policy to accommodate students that this schedule affects, by rescheduling exams or providing subsidiary exam dates.”

The petition argued that students who had to travel long distances could not make it home in time for Christmas.

The resolution—which still will go before the next Senate plenary—will change University policy to allow students to petition their Dean of Student Affairs offices to move finals scheduled on December 23rd. Undergrad schools already allow students to reschedule final exams if a student has more than three finals in one day.

While the resolution does not address the issue of study days, a concern of some undergraduate student leaders, Sen. Alex Frouman, CC ’12 and member of the Senate Education Committee said student senators will continue to work with student leaders and faculty senators to continue to work on the issue into the fall.

Some student leaders have voiced concern over study days because when the calendar ends on the 23rd, which it does for the next two years, the amount of study time is shortened.

“It’s important to note that this is not the end, but the beginning,” said Frouman. “This is an important first step.”

He also stressed this policy change taking affect this year. Faculty senators made it clear in several Senate plenary meetings that any change to the academic calendar would not change next year’s calendar.

Frouman also said he and other senators have reached out to the current and incoming leadership of CCSC and ESC. He and other senators hope to meet with them this week to discuss strategy going forward.

The resolution is expected to come before the Senate’s last plenary of the year, next Friday, April 30 at 1:15 p.m. in the World Room at the Journalism School. The meeting is open to all CUID holders.

Image via Flickr/Beverly & Pack