Campus Life

GH-Fall Reading Break…The Results Are In

by Scott Hokkanen

Here’s what we learned…

If you are a Guelph-Humber student you’re probably aware that the possibility of adding a Fall Reading Break is a hot topic around campus right now. IGNITE recently conducted a study to find out whether Guelph-Humber students would like to have a new Fall Reading Break.

Q7: Are you in favour of Guelph-Humber implementing a Fall Reading Break?

Survey result pie chart with yes no and unsure options

69% of Guelph-Humber Students voted in favour of a implementing a Fall Reading Break.

Q6: Do you believe a Fall Reading Break would positively benefit your mental health in the fall semester?

Survey result pie chart with yes no and unsure options

IGNITE wanted to find out why introducing a fall reading break might be beneficial for Guelph-Humber students. An overwhelming 71% of students who voted say that implementing a Fall Reading Break would positively benefit their state of mental health in the fall semester.

What do you think is an appropriate length of time for a Fall Reading Break?

Survey result pie chart with options from none to 5 days

Almost 1/3rd of the Guelph-Humber student body voted in the survey and there were a lot of varying opinions on how long the potential reading break should be. A 65% voting majority said that the appropriate length of a break would be 5 days long, but many voted for a shorter break as well.

So Guelph-Humber voted “yes” – what’s next?

This vote is not a referendum. Now that the majority of students voted “yes”, the results will allow us at IGNITE to take action and make a strong case towards getting a Fall Reading Break in upcoming pitches to the Guelph Senate.

Multi-step plan

Now that we have the results of the survey, a feedback loop will be created between all of the parties involved. The VP of Student Affairs at Guelph-Humber will present the polling results to the Academic Management and Programs Committee (AMAP).

Following this presentation of the results to the AMAP Committee, a collective action plan will be formulated to figure out what the best course of action is for all the involved parties. This will take several deliberations.

Once an action plan is created, your Guelph-Humber student senators and VP of Student Affairs at Guelph-Humber will present the case for a break to the Guelph Senate in September 2017.  Further steps will be decided on based on the Guelph Senate’s decision.

gh ignite plant wall

The results of the vote were largely in favour of Fall Reading Break but they were not unanimous, and students expressed a variety of opinions. Student’s who voted in the survey had the option to anonymously leave comments with their opinions on the potential break.

Here are some of the comments we received

“I do not think there should be a fall reading break because this would likely cause the semester to end later which would go into the winter/Christmas break. This would give me less time to spend with family. Also I would not be able to work as much since I do not work during the semester.” 

“I think that we should have a fall reading break so we can get caught up on school work and take some time for ourselves. On top of school I have a job, so some time off from classes would really help me out. I appreciate being given the chance to voice our opinions.” 

“A fall reading break would take away our month-long Christmas break. We don’t need a break 4 weeks into classes.”

“I think a fall reading break would be very effective as far as having a positive impact on the mental health of Guelph-Humber students.”

“The biggest reason why I don’t want [a fall reading break] is because I don’t want school to get pushed back too late or start earlier. If anything, only a couple days would be my preference, just enough time to catch up on school work, too long of a break and I wont be able to focus.”

gh spiral staircase

Leading this initiative is Maja Jocson, VP of Student Affairs at Guelph-Humber. As for how long it will take to get this break, Maja says, “Now that a majority of students at Guelph-Humber voted saying that they want to have it, I would say maybe in 2-3 years. But we’ll start working towards it immediately.”

If you have any questions about the vote or the process going forward, please feel free to send Maja an email at maja@ignitestudentlife.com.

*Student comments were lightly edited for length and grammar.