University Senate amendment removes fall break from 2023-2024 calendar


Members of USG ask Dr. Carl Blair for details on an amendment to proposal 37-22A. Photohraph by Tim Peters

Anton Smirnov and Tim Peters

Controversy erupted on campus on Sept. 28, following the Michigan Tech University Senate’s decision to amend proposal 37-22A to remove fall break for 2023-2024. When asked about the Senate’s vote, the Senate President Dr. Michael Mullins noted, “If we had followed proper procedure [back in April], this probably wouldn’t have happened. We were under the gun to get a calendar published.” He went on to cite concerns which arose due to the delayed release of the academic calendar, such as travel and term start and end.

Upon hearing the news, the Undergraduate Student Government immediately suspended their own session in order to confront the Senators as they departed the chamber, having been agitating for a break in the Fall term for the better part of a decade.

But the Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Wallace Southerland III, cautioned against a strong reaction to the news. “All of the people who acted in good faith during the first vote should hear the procedural error, and be told– what are the ways in which we can address this? I’m not convinced that today’s decision was the correct way to address a clerical error.”

A present student who spoke on condition of anonymity noted that “the University Senate met two weeks ago to discuss the data generated by the registrar, which included not one, but two working versions which included a fall break. Fall break was in the provisional calendar, so the idea that the Senate did not have options is nonsense.”

The USG worked hard on the proposition and it stalled in the Senate; USG At-Large Representative and Parliamentarian Sydney Dankert commented “it is highly disappointing.” She also stated that “the AIPC (Academic and Institutional Policy Committee) brought it up and the AIPC will sort it out”.

The resolution creating the fall break for the 2024-25 academic year has previously passed, and the current debate is only pertaining to the academic calendars of  2023-24 and years after 2024-25.