By Emma Prestwich
Ryerson students will enjoy a longer Thanksgiving break this fall.
At last week’s meeting, Ryerson Senate set the dates for the first Fall reading week, which will begin on Thanksgiving Monday, Oct. 8.
The Senate been discussing plans for a fall break since 2010, when two student representatives brought the motion forward.
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy said he welcomes the announcement.
“It’s been the subject of conversation since I’ve got here. It’s taken a very long time to get to this place,” he said.
Incoming RSU president Rodney Diverlus said he thinks the time period was realistic considering the registrar was forced to rearrange the semester.
“I definitely appreciate the speed [with which the administration worked],” he said. “It’s a testament to the collective effort.”
Vice-president Senate David Checkland said implementing the break took time because of institutional issues, mainly whether or not less class time would cause problems for students in the faculty of engineering and architecture (FEAS).
The faculty decided to opt-out of the break, citing issues with professional accreditation if class time was cut.
Maintaining program quality with a shorter semester was one of the major concerns stalling the break’s implementation.
The reading week means the semester will be cut down from 13 weeks to 12, condensing curriculums.
But history professor Tomaz Jardin thinks students need the break.
“I think barreling through 12 or 13 weeks without a break is always a long time,” he said.
This is his first year teaching, so he knew next semester would be 12 weeks
long and built a “movie-watching week” into his curriculum.
“It gives you leeway to ditch a lecture or two that you don’t really like,” said Jardin.
Second-year medical physics student Supraya Chawla said she thinks less class time
will mean more pressure, but said it’s an “extra week to catch up on what you’ve
Checkland, who is also a philosophy professor, wonders if the break will affect the
number of students who fail courses or go on probation.
“I hope for first-year students, [with] this happening as early as it does in the
semester, will it help them?”
Though students in the faculty of engineering and architectural science won’t get a break, second-year aerospace engineering student Isuru Weerasekera said he
For him, one less week of class would mean a heavier workload and he’s also looking forward to quiet hallways.
“We have the entire campus to ourselves,” he said.