The Horizon

Students Weigh in on when Spring Break will be

The IUS Faculty Senate sent all students an email containing a survey that could determine when Spring Break will be for IU Southeast

Sarah Magin, Editor-in-Chief

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The IU Southeast Faculty Senate has proposed to move spring break two weeks earlier in the semester. This would align spring break with all Indiana University campuses. Previously, IU Southeast’s spring break had aligned with several of the local K-12 school districts’ spring breaks.  

The Academic Policies Committee and IU Southeast Faculty Senate have sent every student an email with a link to a survey to vote on this issue, urging students to complete the survey and have their voice heard.

Chris Bjornson, Academics Policies Committee Chair, said the Academic Policies Committee makes decisions regarding calendars at IU Southeast and once the committee makes a proposal it goes to the Faculty Senate for a vote.

The committee will survey the faculty and staff later this semester and that survey will include the vote of the students.

“Once the student vote and faculty and staff votes are in, the committee will prepare a calendar to send to the Senate,” Bjornson said. “That proposal may be amended, or not, and the final calendar will be determined by the Senate vote.”

Faculty senators discuss issues at the January 2017 Senate meeting.

 

Will the Student Vote Matter?

Referring to how influential the student vote will be in the decision making process, Bjornson said there is no specific percentage of survey answers the committee is looking for to decide. The vote will likely be swayed if there is a large percentage for either side.

“What I am hoping for personally is a large percentage of students, faculty and staff all on the same side of the issue,” Bjornson said. “If all groups are 50/50, or if one group strongly votes on one side and other groups strongly vote on the other side, the Faculty Senate is left without clear guidance and decision is left to the votes of the Senators who do not have a consensus of the campus opinion.”

IU Southeast had a similar survey two years ago when the committee proposed adding a fall break to the academic calendar. However in the spring break decision, student opinions have more of a voice than during the fall break decision.

“This process is slightly different from the fall break decision two years ago in that, in that case, we were later in the year and did one survey so the vote of the students was not known when the other groups were voting,” Bjornson said.

For this decision, the Faculty Senate moved up when the student surveys would be. Bjornson said this was to ensure the Senate would know the student’s vote when they cast their own votes on the issue.

The survey closes at midnight on Thursday, Sept 13. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness said students response will remain confidential and their identities will not be linked to their responses.

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