Fall Term Break Task Force hosts consultations

Task Force to consider National Day of Truth and Reconciliation as non-academic day

Survey will be available from Oct. 1 to 22.
To make comprehensive recommendations on future fall term breaks, Queen’s Fall Term Break Task Force launched a survey for the Queen’s community. 
William Nelson, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) at the Faculty of Arts and Science and Co-Chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, discussed the importance of community input in scheduling future fall term breaks. 
The Senate established the Fall Term Task Force in April 2016 to develop recommendations for implementing new non-academic days. 
“[The Fall Term Break] is really intended to be a pause from regular academic activities. It’s a chance for students, faculty, and staff to rest and support their own personal needs and their own mental health,” Nelson said in an interview with The Journal. 
The survey was launched on Oct. 1 and will remain available until Oct. 22.    
“What we’re asking people to do in the consultation is really give us a sense of what they would like and where
they’d like the days to be, and how many days should be allocated for fall term break,” Nelson explained. 
“We can get everyone’s input on where they feel we should prioritize our time, which of those activities are most important […] we want the consultation to be extensive, so that we can really hear from everyone in the community.”
Alongside the survey, Nelson said the Task Force will be hosting feedback sessions with student organizations, staff, alumni, and faculty. 
“We want the consultation to be extensive, we really want to reach all these communities,” Nelson said. 
“We have such a diverse community […] with the constraints there’s not going to be a perfect solution for everyone, but if we can hear from the community that we have got a grounding, a foundation that we can use to really set a plant that balances the needs of people—and articulate why that balance has arrived.” 
In an email sent to The Journal, AMS Vice-President of University Affairs, Ryan Sieg, encouraged students to provide feedback on the Fall Term Break. 
“Broad participation in the survey will help the task force properly understand the value of the break to thecommunity and make its recommendation accordingly,” Sieg said. 
The fall academic term runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 23. The university is required to fit 60 teaching days in a full semester, with days off taking place on holidays like Labour Day, Thanksgiving, and Commemoration Day on Dec. 6. 
Nelson said the task force will consider making the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a day off in the future. 
This additional day-off would affect how fall breaks will be administered in the future. 
“We want to give the university community the flexibility to consider that we’re going to have this non-academic day.”

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