Manic Monday

By By Carlos Mayorga

By Carlos Mayorga

Students who enjoyed a shorter first week of fall classes in previous years might have been surprised when they had to show up for a full first week of class Monday.

In past years, the U began its Fall Semester on a Wednesday, but this year the semester started two days earlier. Starting mid-week made it easier for students to skip the first day of classes, making it problematic for instructors, said Kay Harward, associate vice president for enrollment management.

The early start is part of a new academic calendar that was approved by the U’s Academic Senate in early 2006.

The idea came from a committee of students, faculty and administrators that met to find ways in which the U could function easier for students, Harward said.

The committee sought to “remove roadblocks from student’s paths,” he said.

As the beginning of the Fall Semester approached, some students were caught off-guard by the early start.

Darcy Larrison, a junior majoring in business, said she learned last week from a friend that classes were starting on a Monday this year.

Officials at the U launched an effort to inform students about the semester beginning early this year. They advertised the early start date on several local radio stations, hoping to inform students of the change.

In addition to the early start, the new academic calendar calls for a weeklong Fall Break starting this October. In past years, the break was only two days.

“The semester is so long,” Harward said. “Many faculty and students felt that they needed a longer break.”

Gretchen Figge, a senior majoring in political science, is “thrilled” about the new weeklong break because she can take a vacation. In past years, she has been unable to plan a trip during the two-day break, she said.

In addition to the early start of the semester, one day was added to the end of the Fall Semester to make up for the three extra days of Fall Break.

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