Faculty approves calendar changes

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In a unanimous vote in December’s meeting, the faculty approved a new academic calendar to be initiated for the 2012-2013 school year.

The curriculum committee, made up of faculty and students, initially proposed a new academic calendar last spring.

The faculty originally voted 51-43 against a new academic calendar in a meeting last September.

“It wasn’t 100 percent clear why it was defeated,” said David Statman, chair of the curriculum committee. “Those of us on the faculty were pretty much discouraged.”

The students on the committee, however, wanted to try again and eventually made a presentation to the faculty in November. During the second reading in December, the faculty voted unanimously for the new calendar.

“We didn’t get everything, but we got something better than the calendar than we have today,” Statman said.

Under the new proposal, one Gator day per semester will be set aside for various on-campus activities without the interruption of classes.

“There were some concerns about what exactly Gator days would be because when we first presented the calendar, they were pretty abstract,” said Nathan Ehrman, ’12, member of the curriculum committee.

The committee compromised, suggesting one Gator day per semester instead of two, and eliminating an extended winter break, which was initially proposed for an additional Experiential Learning opportunity.

Gator days provide easy opportunities for students in an attempt to help foster the campus community.

Kat Deutch, ’14, a member of the curriculum committee, said they discussed why some students left Allegheny.

“One of the big reasons we thought was that [students] felt they weren’t connected,” she said.

Gator days will allow departments to hold open meetings for informal discussion and introductions between lower and upperclassmen and faculty members.

“Because there’s nothing going on academically, athletically or club-related, we thought everyone would choose to take advantage of it,” Deutch said.

The committee suggested that ACCEL and the Learning Commons hold similar open houses to encourage students to utilize their services.

“We made Gator days flexible enough that regardless of who you are and what stage of the process you are in, if you want to, you can find value in them,” Ehrman said.