COLUMN: Academic calendar the wrong move for students



There's considerable irony in the fact that the Academic Senate, Faculty Association and administration are pushing a new academic calendar.

The calendar, which would eliminate one week of school, would allow CMU to start classes after Labor Day.

After a tumultuous year between the FA, A-Senate and administration, in which all claimed to be working for the students, it seems there is some type of coercion to harm the academics of this school.

This should be clear: The only way students should accept this in any way is if the administration lowers tuition next year and both the FA and administration take pay cuts.

If this passes without those two things happening, all students that take higher education (and the bills they pay for it) seriously, should walk.

Students should picket and not go to classes.

Why not take a few weeks off?

Future CMU students will be paying inflated tuition to a school that will have proven that academics is not the first priority.

The A-Senate has said at meetings that this could be a good option, considering other similar universities have done it.

To that, there is only one response that has been reiterated at least five times in the past year by the Central Michigan Life Editorial Board: Why do we have to copy every other university?

We should be striving for academic excellence.

To prove we certainly aren't striving for excellence with this calendar, take a look at what FA President Laura Frey said about the academic changes behind it.

“The academic calendar committee never intended to have any of the work impede or reduce academic quality,” she said. “We did not address that topic nor did we see it as a concern.”

To get this straight, an “academic calendar committee” didn't think there would be any problems “academically” if they cut a full week of classes. Furthermore, they didn't even address it as a concern.

If that doesn't make you realize this was a cooked-up plan that isn't going to help students in any way, nothing else will. Academics weren't even thought about.

This is about right and wrong and what's best for students.

Right now, the university, FA and A-Senate are putting forward ideas for their benefit, masking it by saying that they only care about students.

The only group asking the A-Senate, FA and administration to reconsider is the Student Government Association, led by students.

To add even more irony to this, now the three groups have essentially talked down SGA's battle against the new calendar, saying it's been a very long process and that SGA shouldn't worry about it.

Education is why students take out five-figure loans for every year. It's why parents take out loans to help their children get a better education, and hopefully, jobs. It's the very foundation of what this university is.

But, it's all right; don't worry about it, CMU. Go ahead and tarnish the very foundation we stand on.


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