For the first time this year, McMaster students can look forward to a three-day Fall Recess that will run from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. During the recess, there will be no scheduled undergraduate lectures or tests.
The length of first term (62 sessional days) remains the same, as the term is extended to be slightly longer before the winter exam break in order to not impact program accreditation.
This three-day recess period was approved last February by the University Senate on a two-year trial basis following a recommendation from the Undergraduate Council.
Lobbying, discussion and surveying of student opinions by the MSU in conjunction with growing interest and implementation of breaks at other institutions in Ontario at McMaster sparked the push for the break here. Western, Carleton and Brock will be joining McMaster in having some form of fall sessional break for the first time this year.
Once this break (and the two-year trial) has come and gone next year – what is next for this scheduled period of relief? At this point in time, no strategy has been put in place to solicit student feedback on the recess. This leads to a genuine question about what information will be taken into account when this recess period is up for review following the break next year.
The decision to keep the break or modify it in any way for the 2015-16 school year would have to be made shortly after the Fall 2014 recess period as the Undergraduate Calendar follows structured approval dates.
At that point in time, it would be fantastic to have some form of formal feedback to take into consideration.
I am interested in having the break last well beyond this two year pilot period as I see intrinsic value in having an opportunity – albeit small – to catch up on school work and focus on personal wellness. I will be using the break to read, catch up on some sleep and spend time with friends and family.
If you have any comments or feedback to share about the Fall Recess, I encourage you to to comment or get in contact with any of your SRA representatives.