A-Senate: compromise on table for Thursday

A proposed compromise that would keep the academic calendar at 16 weeks with two modifications will be considered by the Academic Senate Tuesday.

This motion, proposed by mathematics professor Donna Ericksen and physics professor Joe Finck, would move the Gentle Thursday/Friday days to coincide with the Mount Pleasant High School district's spring break calendar and would start the semester no more than one week before Labor Day. Mount Pleasant Public Schools have the week of April 1-5 off for spring break this year.

A letter sent on Wednesday to A-Senate members by chairman Jim McDonald listed the two modifications to the 16-week calendar.

"The motion was brought forward because it's a compromise from a bunch of senators to make it more favorable to students and to incorporate more points of view," McDonald said.

During the last A-Senate meeting, there was some confusion over procedural matters. While the A-Senate voted 54-46 in favor of a proposal to stop the calendar change, a technicality in the wording of the proposal required a two-thirds vote to approve it.

"As far as I am aware, the A-Senate only needed a soft vote, not the two-thirds majority," Student Government Association President Justin Gawronski said in an email regarding the proposed academic calendar change. "That is why the compromise motion will now be presented; to still help out the faculty members who might have family in the area in the public schools to arrange our Gentle Thursday and Friday around their breaks."

If the A-Senate votes for this motion, the academic calendar, along with those recommendations, will be sent to the Faculty Association and administration to be bargained. These issues might be considered separately during bargaining.

"The academic calendar will not be starting after Labor Day," Gawronski said. "(This) means student's voices were heard. It's a big win, not just for SGA, but for all students on campus."

If this motion passes, the semester will remain at 16 weeks with the modifications mentioned. If this motion isn't passed, McDonald said they will see where it goes from here.

"If we approve this, it still goes to the Faculty Association and administration for bargaining," McDonald said. "They work out the particulars."

Ericksen and Finck are part of the calendar committee and put together this compromise motion after receiving input from other senators and students. They were not available for comment in time for publication.