Reading Day may be moved back to weekday starting fall 2015

Reading Day may be moved back to weekday starting fall 2015

Carl Blankenship

The proposed 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic calendars, posted to the registrar’s webpage just before winter break and still pending approval, include a change to Appalachian State University’s Reading Day.

The day may be changed from a Saturday, where it has been since the fall semester of 2011, to a Friday, starting fall 2015, according to the calendar. The calendar is projected to be sent by the University Registration and Calendar Committee to the provost for approval in March.

The Student Government Association passed a bill, titled the Reading Day Act, on Dec. 3 that supported moving Reading Day back to a weekday, starting the fall semester of 2015.

The day was originally moved to Saturday because the university was not going to meet the minimum contact time, based on guidelines set by the university’s accrediting entity, the Southern Association of College and Schools, said Chris Carpenter, an SGA senator and primary author of the Reading Day Act.

“[The university] wanted to move to a five-day week before exams, and also reported an increase in student conduct violations on Reading Day,” Carpenter said.

The change did not reduce the amount of student conduct violations on Reading Day, Carpenter said.

SGA President Dylan Russell said that it was a priority in SGA to have Reading Day moved back to a weekday.

“Some faculty thought having Reading Day on a weekday was just an excuse to party instead of study,” Russell said.

When looking to change Reading Day back, there was some initial resistance from the Registrar’s Office, Carpenter said. But once it was discovered that the calendar could be easily changed to fit a weekday Reading Day, SGA representatives voted and approved the bill unanimously.

“The majority of students surveyed indicated that they believe moving Reading Day back to a weekday would improve their grades, and there was no decrease in student conduct violations on Reading Day after it was moved to Saturday compared to when it was held on a weekday,” Carpenter said.

Registrar Andrea Wawrzusin said that whether or not Reading Day can be accommodated on a weekday in the future depends on scheduling factors such as required contact time. Wawrzusin said it can be difficult to honor everything in a calendar and still meet those requirements.

Story: Carl Blankenship, Intern News Reporter