THE RSU WANTS YOU TO TAKE A WEEK OFF NEXT FALL

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BY SHIRLEY LIN

The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) wants the university to have a fall reading week by 2010.

The RSU will move a motion lobbying the Senate to consider a fall reading week should students vote in favour at the upcoming semi-annual general meeting (SAGM) on Nov. 11.

“The purpose of this motion is to see if a fall reading week is something that students would support,” said Liana Salvador, RSU vice-president education. “If students on this campus support [it], then it’s up to us as a students’ union to work for that.”

Salvador says a reading week is a good break for students to de-stress from school work. The break could give them time off to study, perform better academically, and be with their families.

Natalie Scott, a first-year early childhood education student, agrees.

“I think they should allow a full week because it is stressful and we need a break.”

Although other universities such as York, Trent and Laurentian have a fall reading week, according to Ryerson’s registrar, Keith Alnwick the weeklong break is not practical at Ryerson.

“It’s not feasible unless the teaching semester is reduced from the current 13 weeks,” he said in an email. “The length of the teaching semester has always been the stumbling block.”

Other universities have year-long courses or 12-week semesters so an extra week off classes is more doable, said Heather Lane Vetere, vice provost students. But Ryerson professors can take up to five days after the last exam for marking and students may need lab time for more hands-on, specialized programs, so the extra week is needed, added Vetere.

Ryerson President Sheldon Levy said it’s an unlikely outcome.

“Ryerson has relatively long semesters and teaching weeks…and I think it’s going to be very difficult for students to make the case that the teaching year should be shortened,” Levy added.

Other motions at the SAGM:

• RSU lobby the university to ban the sale of bottled water on campus

•RSU lobby the university to establish a memorial honouring the death of Christopher Skinner

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