Student Government proposing a fall break

By Nicole Schladt

UK Student Government is working to submit a scheduling proposal to UK that would allow for two break days during the fall semester. The proposal would also spread out final exams over the course of two weeks instead of one.

Ryan Smith, SG President, and Kyle Kirk, student representative to the University Senate Council, are spearheading the initiative. SG Sens. Sara-Elizabeth Bush and Molly Anderson are also involved in the planning process.

“We’re really trying to advocate on the students’ behalf,” Smith said. “We’ve heard from a lot of students that they want some time off, specifically after midterms. They’ve been asking for a fall break.”

Smith emphasized that UK’s Student Government will be working closely with the staff of New Student and Parent Programs, Student Affairs, Greek Affairs and the registrar’s office to make sure everybody on campus is comfortable with any type of scheduling change.

“We’re in the process of reaching out to various groups to get their input,” Smith said. “We are looking to bring everybody on campus into this discussion.”

Initial discussions about incorporating a fall break and a split finals week into UK’s calendar began last semester. Since then, Kirk has compared UK’s schedule with the schedules of other SEC and Top 20 schools, including the University of Georgia and the University of North Carolina.

He has found that calendars that incorporate a fall break and a split finals week provide an optimal amount of study time for students.

“We want people to have a good experience in college,” Kirk said. “We also want students to be able to go home and see their families in the fall. There isn’t that kind of extended time in the middle of the semester right now.”

Before the scheduling proposal can go into effect, it will have to be approved by the SG Senate, the University Senate Council and the full University Senate.

Joe Quinn, a senior and Student Government Chief of Staff, already has experience working with the University Senate to effect scheduling changes. He was the student representative involved with incorporating reading days, in the form of Dead Week, into UK’s calendar two years ago.

“(This proposal) will be very similar (to the Dead Week proposal) in the sense that it will move progressively through the Senate bodies that have to pass it,” Quinn said.

Yet he warns that the process will be more extensive this time around.

“This proposal will require meetings with many different individuals,” Quinn said. “We have to make sure that what we’re trying to do fits in holistically with the university and everything that is affected by it.”

Smith said he anticipates SG will have a full proposal ready to present by the end of this semester. He said he hopes the University Senate will have the opportunity to vote on the proposal by January or February next year.

“We need to take a step back, evaluate what proposal we’d like to submit and organize this whole process,” Smith said, “but everything is starting to fall into place.”