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UC to Send New Calendar to CUE

By Todd F. Braunstein

In support of significant reforms in Harvard's academic calendar, the Undergraduate Council last night approved a revised program that would schedule fall-semester exams before winter break.

With the majority endorsement of the full assembly, the council's student affairs committee will now negotiate with the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) on a proposal to submit to the full faculty council.

Calendar reform has been an issue that has "been kicking around in the CUE since at least the late '70s," said Christopher J. Garofalo '94, one of the resolution's three sponsors.

This, however, is the first time the council has drawn up an actual calendar to use in negotiations with the CUE, said resolution sponsor Hassen A. Sayeed '96, the chair of the student affairs committee.

The resolution, which was approved 53-3 with two abstentions, allows the student affairs committee "some powers of negotiation in finalizing the details of implementation and final structure," as long as the major principles of the calendar--such as semester length, post-Labor Day registration and reading period before exams--are preserved without other changes.

Calendar Proposal

To fit in reading period and exams before the winter break while maintaining a semester of 62 class days, several sacrifices would be necessary.

The proposed calendar moves back the beginning of Freshman Week to the Monday before Labor Day. The College would then hold registration and begin classes on the day after Labor Day.

Classes would also be held on Columbus Day and Veterans' Day, state holidays whose observance is not required by an independent institution such as Harvard.

Under the new calendar, the length of reading period would range from nine to 12 days.

Garofalo noted, however, that reading period would be 11 or 12 days five outof every seven years.

Reading period would begin immediatelyfollowing the 62nd day of classes, a date whichoccurs either the week after Thanksgiving break orthe day before it. The current nine days of examswold also be maintained.

Spring "Up in the Air"

But the spring semester is "completely up inthe air," Garofalo said.

Spring finals cannot end significantly earlierthan they do now because of the date ofcommencement, required by Harvard's charter to besent in early June.

"We can't end too early," Garofalo said to thecouncil, "because I don't think the administrationwould appreciate seniors hanging around for amonth."

Garofalo suggested that the tentative fiveweeks of winter break might be shortened, with theextra off-days being added to spring break.

Sayeed said he was optimistic that the proposalwill pass through the CUE.

"This is the most viable proposal that's everbeen submitted," Sayeed said. "I'm confident itwill pass."

Garofalo noted that enactment is a slowprocess, and that even if all goes well, thecalendar will most likely be "phased in over threeto five years."

But, noting that the new calendar incorporatesall the CUE's recommendations, Garafalo said that"the chances are it will be implemented down theroad."

Other Matters

In other business, the council unanimouslyallocated $2,500 for the 12th annual LevensonAward Dinner.

The Levenson Awards honor a senior facultymember, junior faculty member and teaching fellowfor excellence in teaching.

The student affairs committee selects thewinners, although students may nominate facultyuntil April 11. The awards dinner will occur onMay 9.

In new business, the council approved a maximumof $700 to sponsor a bus to Lake Placid, site ofthe East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) hockeysemifinals and finals.

Assuming Harvard's hockey team advances pastnext weekend's quarterfinals, the council willsell $20 round-trip tickets for the ECAC finals,which will be held in two weeks

Reading period would begin immediatelyfollowing the 62nd day of classes, a date whichoccurs either the week after Thanksgiving break orthe day before it. The current nine days of examswold also be maintained.

Spring "Up in the Air"

But the spring semester is "completely up inthe air," Garofalo said.

Spring finals cannot end significantly earlierthan they do now because of the date ofcommencement, required by Harvard's charter to besent in early June.

"We can't end too early," Garofalo said to thecouncil, "because I don't think the administrationwould appreciate seniors hanging around for amonth."

Garofalo suggested that the tentative fiveweeks of winter break might be shortened, with theextra off-days being added to spring break.

Sayeed said he was optimistic that the proposalwill pass through the CUE.

"This is the most viable proposal that's everbeen submitted," Sayeed said. "I'm confident itwill pass."

Garofalo noted that enactment is a slowprocess, and that even if all goes well, thecalendar will most likely be "phased in over threeto five years."

But, noting that the new calendar incorporatesall the CUE's recommendations, Garafalo said that"the chances are it will be implemented down theroad."

Other Matters

In other business, the council unanimouslyallocated $2,500 for the 12th annual LevensonAward Dinner.

The Levenson Awards honor a senior facultymember, junior faculty member and teaching fellowfor excellence in teaching.

The student affairs committee selects thewinners, although students may nominate facultyuntil April 11. The awards dinner will occur onMay 9.

In new business, the council approved a maximumof $700 to sponsor a bus to Lake Placid, site ofthe East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) hockeysemifinals and finals.

Assuming Harvard's hockey team advances pastnext weekend's quarterfinals, the council willsell $20 round-trip tickets for the ECAC finals,which will be held in two weeks

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