The birth of Martin Luther King Jr. was celebrated Monday at the start of the third week of instruction, much to the appreciation of students who enjoyed a three-day weekend (or four for those lucky enough to be done Thursday).
Winter quarter at Cal Poly consists of two Monday holidays — one of which is notorious for causing students and professors to attend their Monday classes on a Tuesday.
Ashley Harvey, a food science junior, shared Shaban’s sentiments and said although there could be a few students feeling cheated by the missed class days, most students look forward to the days off from school.
“Monday is my worst day, I have two labs so I really appreciate the break,” Harvey said.
Although it is expected that students welcome the day of missed class with open arms, teachers are a little less ecstatic about missing class time.
“I find the (holiday) so early in the quarter inconvenient,” said English professor Carl Wooton. “It seems like we are just getting started and then we have this interruption.”
Five weeks after the first Monday holiday, campus celebrates Presidents’ Day on Feb. 21. To avoid another missed day of instruction for Monday classes, the Academic Senate recommended Feb. 22 follow a Monday schedule thus causing students to miss Tuesday classes instead.
Susan Olivas, the interim associate registrar at the office of the registrar said it was a necessary resolution (to follow a Monday schedule) to minimize the number of canceled Monday classes.
The Academic Senate, which is in charge of approving and evaluating university policy and procedures, is the faculty governing body of the university, which represents approximately 1,000 faculty members. It is comprised of 51 elected faculty representatives, four senior administrators and two students as stated on the Cal Poly website.
This recommendation by the Academic Senate was put into effect in 2005 and since then academic calendars have been formed with classes following a Monday schedule on a Tuesday when there is more than one Monday holiday within the same 10 week quarter, Olivas said.
“I think that this scheduling is kind of clumsy but with the schedule of classes that meet two days a week — Monday, Wednesday and Tuesday, Thursday — I understand it’s necessary to balance missed class time,” Wooton said.
“In May 2005, the academic senate agreed on a way to make missing class more equitable,” Olivas said. “There are only a certain amount of class days that can be missed.”
Through dialogue with the Academic Senate, faculty and students believe this scenario is the optimal solution, Olivas said.
With classes offered at Cal Poly that only meet on Mondays, having two missed class days would mean those students would only attend eight classes throughout the quarter.
“Our policy is that the classes have to meet nine times out of the 10 week term,” Olivas said. “We want for each day’s offering to meet the maximal amount of times as possible.”
Students and professors alike understand the reasoning behind the scheduling.
“I think it makes the teachers feel better because they aren’t having their classes canceled twice throughout the quarter,” Harvey said.
Wooton also said this second holiday comes as a relief when compared to the first Monday holiday.
“The one later in the quarter is less of an inconvenience because professors are also ready for a break at this point,” he said.
The Monday schedule on a Tuesday is unique to winter quarter because Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday and Presidents’ Day always fall on Mondays. However, both fall and spring quarters consist of at least two academic holidays.
Olivas said sometimes the Monday schedule on a Tuesday is also utilized during spring quarter if Cesar Chavez Day falls on a Monday.
Though the weird scheduling can be confusing, students do not seem to be phased and neither do the professors.
“To me there is not too much of a difference,” Wooton said. “Every quarter requires adjustments (because of the holidays).”