By: Jon Dusza, Ava C. Green and Sydney Umstead, Managing Editor, Editor-in-Chief and News Editor
On Friday, Dec. 1, the Undergraduate Student Association (USA) held its final senate meeting of the semester, during which they talked to Dr. Sara Morris, exchanged secret Santa gifts and ate supper.
Dr. Morris was allotted 30 minutes to speak to the senate about current and upcoming academic schedules for the university, which we assume was in response to students’ discontent over the way breaks have been laid out in previous years. She prepared four separate potential calendar plans for the 2024-2025 academic year and presented them to the students. Morris mentioned that some of the less preferable plans were left in the presentation to show how small scheduling tweaks would have huge impacts on the flow of the semester. Especially, as Morris noted, because of the government's set amount of “seat time” being 13 to 14 hours a week.
Plan 2 stuck out as particularly interesting to the attendees because the seat time would grow closer to roughly 14 hours. During this potential plan, there would be no break for President’s Day and the week of exams would fall on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday.
Plan 4 was representative of the way some schools operate, though it is not up for consideration at Canisius. Within this plan, there would be zero breaks for the holidays and spring break would occur during the middle of the semester.
USA was asked to propose their own suggestions for a 2024-2025 academic calendar to Dr. Morris, and it is currently working on a recommendation for Morris’ schedule considering the information given.
Dr. Morris explained that the schedule for fall 2024 will closely resemble the one we currently operate on and that it isn’t up for edits or debates. Administration believes it is important to have the calendars set at least a year or two in advance to leave students time to make accommodations so that they may abide by the schedule, or alert people of any known scheduling conflicts promptly.
Before the end of her time, Morris let senators know that the school is looking to update its pass/fail policies and opportunities. Canisius has plans to make it so any course can apply, or, if done so before exam week, can be changed to be graded as “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory." Still, a “satisfactory” mark would not count as a prerequisite for other courses, which require students to achieve a certain grade from another class.
Executive reports were brief, with USA President Jahare Hudson mentioning that housing over winter break would be free and that there are plans to move TruBurger to the dining hall for the fall 2024 semester.
VPBF Gabby Kaderli passed her last appeal in the position with the approval of RHA’s budget request for Midnight Breakfast, to be held in the dining hall on Dec. 10 from 9-11 p.m.
To end the meeting, attendees enjoyed a delicious meal and a Secret Santa gift exchange hosted by Sunshine Chairman Ryan Harrington, which these scribes were lucky enough to be a part of.
Congratulations to the Undergraduate Student Association for another semester of hard work and dedication.