Administration proposes two-day Fall Break

9 years ago Triangle 0
Last year, then senior Thomas Katz, junior Luke Lillard, and sophomore Jonathan Warner took a 10-day trek across New England in search of adventure and the meaning of hospitality. With the proposed changes to Fall Break, future such trips would be next to impossible during that time./Triangle photo by Jesse Murray

Clari Stewart
Triangle Reporter

With fall break just days away, rumors are spreading about instituting a proposed two-day fall break for next year. Students and faculty alike are reacting strongly to the proposal. The proposed changes affect not only fall break, but accelerated schedules, the start of the school year, the policy of withdrawing from a class and the scheduling of finals.

Vice President of Academics Dr. Bradford Sample proposed the changes to the faculty at their September meeting after the changes were approved by the Executive Cabinet. If the change is made, Bryan would join many surrounding schools including Lee University, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Carson Newman, Chattanooga State and Covenant College that all have breaks that are less than a week long.

The issue of changing fall break has already caused many passionate discussions on campus. Both faculty and students are split in their opinion of the proposed change.

“I couldn’t go home,” said junior Peter Boyajian from New Jersey, “half my break would be spent driving.”

Sophomore Wesley Garnett said, “It wouldn’t be worth the gas for a six and a half hour drive.”

Scott Jones, associate professor of Christian ministry, thought the school should consider the local community, and the local school systems’ break schedules, as well as Bryan students when making such changes.

“Bryan College draws students from vast distances and [this change] would eliminate [some students’] ability to go home,” he said.

On the other side of the issue, Bernie Belisle, assistant professor of Theater, is in favor of the proposed change because it adds an additional weekend for scheduling rehearsals for theater and musical productions. He currently spends the majority of his fall break working on the upcoming shows.

Junior Brian Huff said he agrees with Belisle’s view and “wouldn’t mind” a shortened break.

The Student Government Association became very concerned when they learned of the proposed change. Seniors Vincent Smith, student body president, and Daniel Grayton, student body vice president, were upset that the administration had not informed them of the proposed changes.

Grayton said as vice president his job is to “be the voice to the students from the administration and the voice of the students back up the ladder.” He said it was particularly frustrating because he meets weekly with the administration and had not heard of the proposed changes.

Smith added, “If the administration doesn’t tell us anything, we can’t be the voice from the administration to the students.”

In response, members of SGA began passing around petitions for students to sign saying they were not in agreement with a two-day fall break.

Sample said he thought the shortened fall break would bring “academic continuity” to the calendar as it eliminates a nine-day break in the middle of the term. However, he added that the changes were “not all focused on fall break.”

In addition to the fall break change, the proposal eliminates students receiving a WF or WP for classes they drop after a certain deadline. Instead, until the Friday before Thanksgiving students would only receive a W on their transcript which would not hurt their GPA.

The changes also eliminate accelerated schedules and switch the final exam schedule to a system where students are able to schedule their individual exams at any time during a three-day period. Following a recommendation from the faculty, Sample is also considering allowing students to have the Monday after Easter off so they can enjoy the holiday with family instead of having to drive back to campus on Easter Sunday.

“Anyone who wants to place blame can place it squarely on my shoulders,” Sample said.

He said he thinks the changes will be positive, but added, “If I am wrong, we’ll change it back.”

Sample will announce the final decision this Friday before what could possibly be the last week-long fall break at Bryan College.