16 percent of Cal Poly students are members of social fraternities and sororities, but the 2014-15 Associated Students, Inc. Board of Directors features greek life members filling 11 of the 24 total seats. | Mustang News File Photo

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The 23 Associated Students, Inc. Board of Directors members voted unanimously in support of quarters as an advisory vote to Chancellor Timothy White.

Sean McMinn
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The Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors voted unanimously Wednesday to advise Chancellor Timothy White to stay on the quarter system instead of switching to semesters, marking the second time the board has voted to support such a move.

In its recommendation to the chancellor, the board cited Cal Poly’s uniqueness as a driving reason to stay on quarters. Programs such as Cal Poly’s core engineering courses and harvest seasons that sync with the quarter system would be lost if the university switched to semesters, the advisory document approved Wednesday said.

“Cal Poly SLO’s uniqueness and specialties are made possible by the quarter system,” the recommendation reads. “A switch to the semester system would negatively impact Cal Poly SLO students. As a result, Cal Poly SLO should remain on the quarter system and not convert to the semester system.”

The unanimous vote came after approximately one hour of debate on the resolution. Most of that time centered on technical changes — including a 15-minute period where the board decided whether to add “SLO” after every reference to Cal Poly.

White has said several times he believes the semester system is better, in general, for the California State University system. In March, Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said he and White reached a “compromise” on the topic, and said Cal Poly would begin to convert to semesters by 2020.

During a visit to Cal Poly in May, White asked for more concise information from the university about the community’s opinion on semesters, Rachel Kramer said, one of the resolution’s authors.

“Chancellor White wanted a white sheet saying why Cal Poly will benefit from the quarter system,” Kramer, a city and regional planning junior, said. “Cal Poly is so unique, and that’s because of what we can do on the quarter system.”

Wednesday’s recommendation was mainly a summary of the Semester Review Task Force report, a several-hundred-page document that concluded a quarter’s worth of research by saying Cal Poly should stay on quarters, said Myra Lukens, another one of the resolution’s authors.

The ASI Board of Directors also formally supported quarters earlier this year, after 89.8 percent of voting students shot down semesters in a February vote.

Connor Paquin, another one of the resolution’s co-authors, said he still hears from concerned students who are confused about semesters.

“We wanted to show (the chancellor) this is not a dictatorship with the chancellor on top,” Paquin said. “This is a team with the 23 CSUs. So if we don’t like something he does, let’s tell him about it.”

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