Extra reading week a possibility for Fanshawe in the future

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: JESSICA THOMPSON
With Western University getting a fall reading week starting next school year, the question still stands will Fanshawe do the same? There are no guarantees, but the idea is not out of the question.

In light of Western University adding an extra reading week in the fall for their students, there may be good news ahead for Fanshawe students as well.

Western University recently unleashed news that they are going to allow another reading week in the fall, with this schedule change beginning in the fall of 2017.

The reasoning behind this is to help students relieve stress, help balance their work-study life and to increase academic performance.

As a result of these changes, Fanshawe has begun a discussion on the benefits of adding another reading week in the fall as well.

On a Facebook post in a popular Fanshawe College discussion group, the question of whether Fanshawe should receive an extra reading week in the fall was welcomed with an almost unanimous decision of “yes”.

Much of the comments that students had posted were filled with positive feedback, as well as insightful ideas based around why another reading week would be beneficial.

Fanshawe Student Union president (FSU) Carlie Forsythe, was one amongst many who had contributed to the feedback on the Facebook post.

“I would love to see a reading week in the fall semester. The college is curious to hear what students think, so we may be partnering to start the discussion. That aside, you may not see a reading week implemented until close to 2020, as academic schedules are made about a year or so in advance,” Forsythe said.

In order to successfully add the extra reading week in the fall, the college staff would have to review the entire academic schedule in place, as well as discuss the benefits associated with doing so.

Elaine Gamble, Fanshawe’s senior manager of Corporate Communications provided more insight on the subject.

“Fanshawe has looked at [the subject] in the past,” Gamble said. “Part of the issue is that we have a 15 week term, so to ensure we have enough weeks to complete our exams, we have not been able to accommodate a full reading week in the past. However, senior leadership is open to reviewing [the subject] to see whether this is something that would be a priority for the college to change.”

Gamble explained a second reading week would require reworking the current academic calendars, which would take time to do so.

“Western obviously sees that there is a benefit to it. We would obviously want to engage our student leaders and others in that conversation in order to see if there is some merit to it,” Gamble said.

Although there would be a lot of work involved with implementing the potential reading week into Fanshawe’s schedule, Fanshawe is open to discussing and reviewing the benefits of going forward with the changes.

Forsythe expressed she would like to organize a group of students to have a roundtable discussion on the topic in the future. Additionally, Gamble has provided a comment on the subject.

Luke Pellitteri, a Fanshawe student studying in hotel and resort services management, provided feedback through a Facebook interview on whether or not he would like to see a fall reading week added to Fanshawe’s academic calendar.

“Basically every other post-secondary [school] in Ontario gets two reading weeks. I think Fanshawe, as a whole, is kind of unfair to their students,” Pellitteri said. “We need reading week. A lot of our practical programs are nuts and first years who have to go all the way through until Christmas without a break is equally just as nuts.”

There is a lot of work to be done, and there are a lot of discussions to be had about the subject. However, with new changes being made to Western’s schedule and the possibility being addressed to Fanshawe senior staff of changing our own schedule, it is completely possible that Fanshawe may receive a fall reading week in the near future.