Changes made to school calendar

The University Council voted to make changes to TCU’s academic calendar in a meeting Monday based on students’ requests.The changes include starting school on a Monday rather than a Wednesday in August, and adding a Thursday to Fall Break and a Wednesday to Thanksgiving Break.

“The students initiated the changes that have been made,” said Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs.

Students wanted these changes for a while, and former student body president Jay Zeidman brought many of the issues to the council, said Nowell Donovan, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Mills said the last change made to the academic calendar was the addition of Fall Break eight to 10 years ago.

The new changes were necessary and came about because of student concerns about traveling around the holidays, Mills said.

“We were convinced that it was a question of student safety,” Donovan said.

The extra day for Thanksgiving Break was added because students need to leave early for traveling purposes, Donovan said.

The university is obligated to give students a full year of education, so the fall semester will start two days earlier in 2006 when the changes go into effect, Donovan said.

“It is worth starting school on a Monday if it means I don’t have to be driving on Thanksgiving day,” said Sarah Champion, a sophomore geography major.

Other students also said the added day to TCU’s Fall and Thanksgiving breaks are more beneficial to them than starting school on a Wednesday.

Stephanie Isak, a sophomore criminal justice major from Houston, said she normally does not go home for Fall Break, but, now that there is an extra day, it would no longer be a waste of a drive.

Donovan said school starting on a Monday rather than a Wednesday will affect events leading up to the new school year, like women’s recruitment, and the details will need to be worked out.

No matter what changes need to be made in order to support the new schedule, Donovan said, starting off on a full week is a good thing.

“Pre-school activities will be affected,” Mills said. “There will be changes in the schedule, but we have plenty of time to make them so there won’t be any negative effects.