A Tax Break in October

If you had a break during fall term, would you use it to relax, sleep, study, or catch up on assignments? Currently, more than half of Universities in Ontario have some form of fall break in mid-to-late October. UW is among those who do not.

According to UW vice president academic and provost, Dr. Geoff McBoyle, the discussion of having a fall break was last brought up two years ago. “I would call it a mental health break,” said McBoyle, adding that with the changes and increased to student population it is time to rethink the necessity and feasibility of having a fall break at UW.

McBoyle is not alone in the belief that a fall break may be beneficial to students.

“It would give students a chance to regroup, evaluate how their term is going, adjust their learning plan, and/or de-stress,” said Chris Read, associate students provost at UW.

If implemented the earliest date for a fall break to begin would be in 2015, and could be as simple a two-day holiday on a Thursday and Friday in the middle of Fall term.

While many students may enjoy the idea of a fall break, it does not come without consequences. As it stands UW has a very tight calendar and adding a fall break could risk shortening orientation week or other events.

Though there is currently no planned discussion on the topic, at the Federation of Students Students’ Council, the topic has come up. Council briefly discussed it in Spring 2013, with Environment Councillors going back to their constituents and performing surveys to gauge support. As early as last week, Engineering Society “B” Executive released a survey to followed suit.

Whether it’s tax, finance, consolidations, or a particularly difficult elective weighing you down, it is commonly agreed that a break could help students de-stress, re-energize, and benefit from additional time to study or work.

Charles Kuno (charles.kuno@uwaterloo.ca) Councillor (Arts), Feds Students’ Council Budget Committee, External Organization Review Body, Coop Students Council Federation of Students

With files from the Imprint, Engineering Society, and Environment.