The rescheduling of Fall break for the academic year 2008-2009 was “the answer to this year’s quandary” regarding the clash between Fall break, Family Day and Homecoming at the College, Patrice Coleman-Boatwright, associate vice president for Public Affairs, said.
“In 2007, you’ll remember Fall break, Family Day and Homecoming all fell on the same weekend,” Coleman-Boatwright said. “(This was) extraordinarily difficult for the community, to have all these wonderful holidays at the same time. (College) President (R. Barbara) Gitenstein essentially asked that we take a look at what can be done.”
The Governor’s Committee, which in large part determines the academic calendar, had to get together with other academic organizations to decide what event had to be rescheduled, either Family Day or Fall break.
“One thing that stopped us was the fact that our athletic schedule is very inflexible so we have no control. . There are three days during the Fall semester where there would be home football games: Oct. 4, Nov. 1 and maybe Oct. 18,” Coleman-Boatwright said. “That weekend of Oct. 18 was also the weekend of Fall break so we were faced with the same problem as this year.”
The committee considered these dates of home football games as alternate Homecoming and Family Day dates. However, Oct. 4 was deemed “too early,” especially since the student organizations that are important to the success of Fall break wouldn’t be ready yet. The last date, Nov. 1, would be too late and is also the day after Halloween, so this date wouldn’t have been “a good idea either,” according to Coleman-Boatwright.
Eventually it was determined that the only solution was to move Fall break for next year. Student organizations, the Faculty and Staff senates and other committees were contacted to determine if this rescheduling would conflict with anything too much. As of now, Fall break is Oct. 13-14, according to the academic calendar.
“That weekend that we land on is also a holiday weekend (Columbus Day) so families could go on vacation,” Coleman-Boatwright said. “The one problem that we are facing is that we haven’t figured out yet what to do about Community Fest, which is scheduled that weekend, too. Now that we moved Fall break, we face another problem. We’re working on possibly moving Community Fest right now.”
“I think it’s good because too many events in one day, that is not beneficial at all,” Alissar Jaber, president of the sophomore class council, said. “Fall break and Homecoming people are going to want to go home and Homecoming won’t be as successful. I think it’s good that we can make changes here for the future.”
Another issue not fully resolved with the rescheduling of Fall break is what to do in future academic years. Though the College does not want to have to address this issue again, work still has to be done in coordinating Fall break with other important events in the Fall semester, according to Coleman-Boatwright.
“I think that if anyone cares right now when Fall break is, they’re ridiculous people,” Vincent St. John, sophomore computer science major said. “And it worked fine last year. I like staying on campus until the last minute before break anyway. More people should stick around next year. It’s fun.”