Date set for UT faculty to vote on possible fall break

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Faculty members will cast their votes March 25 to help decide the future of a proposed fall break.

Fifty-nine faculty members have petitioned the proposal since the Faculty Council passed it in January. The proposal would interrupt class schedules for courses that have required weekly labs.

The proposed break would give students a Monday and Tuesday off near the end of October, while starting the semester two days earlier.

Currently, the University has 12 full weeks of school for labs in the fall. If the fall break is implemented, professors would have to include labs during the first week of class to keep the same number.

Diane Bailey, assistant professor and chairwoman of the Faculty Council Calendar Committee, said the vote would require at least 15 percent of the general faculty members present at the meeting, which is 366 of the voting members. If the number is not met, the proposal will go back to the Faculty Council instead of moving on.

“In that event, the Faculty Council must allow all the people who protested to speak at its meeting, then [the council] would make a decision and that vote would be final,” Bailey said.

If the necessary amount of voting members are present, the proposal will need a majority of the votes to pass, continuing on to UT President William Powers Jr.

Kornel Rady , government and communication studies sophomore and Student Government representative, has been lobbying faculty members to gain support for the break. Rady said he is trying to reach every faculty member to remind them of the meeting and to be present to vote on the proposal.

“There was very little notice given out to the faculty and I believe that it will affect turnout negatively and I hope the quorum will be met,” Rady said. “Getting out the vote is my number one priority at this time. If the effort is successful we can definitely outweigh the opposition.”

Rady said even if the proposal does not gain majority support, students will continue pushing for a similar break.

“If it fails, we plan on going back to the Academic Calendar Committee and reforming the proposal to better fit those who are against the current proposal,” Rady said.

The meeting will be held at 3:15 in the Student Activity Center auditorium 1.402. Wills Brown, Student Government vice president, said students should encourage their professors to vote during the special meeting.

“I urge all students who want a fall break to come out to the SAC to show your support,” Brown said. “Let the student voice be heard. I’m excited to see where this goes.”

Printed on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 as: Faculty to let vote fall on idea of new break