The faculty will vote on March 7 on a motion to move the start of the school year one day earlier, from a Thursday to a Wednesday. The motion proposes the addition of one academic day to the calendar, and will not result in any shift of later dates. Instead, it will ensure that students can attend all of their classes during the first week of school.

“The proposal is to allow students a chance right away to see what they think their schedule looks like, to start their courses,” said Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jim Higginbotham. 

Under the current schedule, Higginbotham explained that only 237 students were able to have their full schedule of classes during the first week of class. Adding Wednesday to the schedule would increase the number of students able to attend all of their classes to 1,565. 

The extra day would also increase the number of classes students can attend before the add-drop deadline two weeks in. Higginbotham hopes that this will allow students to use their first weekend back on campus to make decisions about their classes.

“[The proposal] allow[s] students a chance right away to see what their schedule looks like and really have the full two weeks to make the decision to drop or add another course,” said Higginbotham.

The current calendar, which incorporates the Wednesday before Thanksgiving into the break, has one less meeting for classes on a Monday/Wednesday schedule than those on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule. 

“Right now we tell faculty that if they have a Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Monday/Wednesday schedule then they have to make up that class somehow.” The obligation is on the faculty “to find a time to arrange that,” said Higginbotham.

The addition of a Wednesday to the start of the year would eliminate the need for faculty to reschedule classes, and result in an even number of classes for all time schedules. 

The change is part of a larger reevaluation of Orientation, including the creation of a program to address race and bias incidents on campus that Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion Leana Amaez announced in a recent email to the College. Faculty to vote in March on proposal for school year to begin a day earlier

While Orientation would be reduced by one day to accommodate the additional academic day, this would not have any meaningful impacts on the programming itself, according to Higginbotham.