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Adding a class break possible: BU calendar 'not set in stone'

Nov. 5, 1998

We are finally nearing the end of the 13-week stretch of classes without a holiday or break of any kind. It's been a long, intense semester, one that has included two official holidays. But Baylor's classroom doors haven't shut since the semester began in August.

Students are starting to look to the future, asking if next year we will encounter the same long stretch without a fall break.

The university's calendar committee has arranged the calendar for the next three years, and no fall break has been included. We find it disappointing that something students and faculty have asked for so audibly has not been worked into the calendar. However, there is hope: the calendar is 'not set in stone,' according to calendar committee chairman Dr. Bill Adams, a physics professor.

There is always the possibility that the calendar can be changed, even though it has been set through 2001, Adams said.

Since the next three years' schedules are not immovable, we urge the committee and the administration to consider rearranging the fall semester to include a fall break.

Students are showing support for the idea of a two-day fall break. In last year's Student Life Survey, more than 88 percent of students who responded said they would be willing to start classes earlier in August in order to have a two-day break later in the semester.

Student government is helping students voice their opinions about the need for a fall break: a petition supporting a fall break has circulated among students all semester. As of Monday, more than 2,000 students had signed the petition, said Gannon Sims, student body president and a Conroe senior.

Students want a fall break. The scheduling of a break also seems to have support from some members of the calendar committee and part of the university's administration.

We encourage students to work harder to voice their support of a fall break. Since the addition of a break is so popular with students, and since it is possible to make changes to the already-approved school calendar, there is real hope that at least some of Baylor's current students may see a fall break before they graduate.

Changes to the calendar committee's schedule are not unprecedented. Adams pointed to the most recent change of plans--the holiday given to students the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

The extra day of Thanksgiving vacation was something not planned in the original three-year calendar, Adams said, but it was added after the fact.

Adams said the most realistic hope students can harbor is for a change in the next five to 10 years.

Student government is still circulating the fall break petition; we encourage students to stop by the student government office to sign it and voice their support.

Students, if you want Baylor to include a fall break in the calendar, do more than complain to your friends. If students work together to voice their desire for a break in an organized way, there is a possibility of changing the calendar.

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