Online petition calls for reinstatement of March Break

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An online petition is gaining quick support from students online who don’t want to see their March Break disappear.

The petition, created through change.org, calls for the University to reinstate March Break as per the Academic Calendar. The petition calls on students, family, alumni and any others who wish to support students in their fight to take back what they feel is their right.

As of late Sunday night, the petition had garnered hundreds of signatures and is continuing at a steady pace.

When asked about the petition, Ashley Macosky, president of the Students’ Representative Council at UNB Saint John, says that he’s impressed at the initiative students are taking with regards to their education.

“I think it shows students have a genuine concern over what has happened and perhaps many have woken up to the fact that they can make a difference if they try.”

Macosky is also working with his Fredericton counterparts and other UNB campus student leaders on petitioning the university for rebates or refunds as a result of the strike.

“As far as I’m concerned we’ve lost valuable class time that students aren’t going to get back. Students aren’t happy with this condensed semester and so I think the University and the teachers’ union have a responsibility to the students to give back,” says Macosky.

As to what that means, Macosky says the details are being worked out but it could include setting up a fund that will reimburse students for additional fees incurred if they have to reschedule travel arrangements planned for the March reading week.

“It’s something we’ve seen other University’s do and so we are exploring that, along with several other options.”

Student opinion on the site is fully in support of having the March reading week, citing among other things trips that have been planned and the needed mental break in an otherwise uninterrupted semester.

However, some students aren’t as in favour of getting the break back. Connor Moore is a first year student in science, and although he can understand the frustration, he is not in favour of having the week off in March.

“I need to go home and find a job. That is going to be harder to do if we have to push the semester past the end of April. Professors have basically said they won’t have things due that week, so if you have plans then don’t go to class, but I hope the University leaves the schedule they way they’ve proposed it.”

The revised semester schedule must still pass through both the Saint John and Fredericton senates before it can be made official.

To view the petition site, visit the following link: http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/university-of-new-brunswick-administration-reinstate-march-break-as-it-is-stated-in-the-academic-calendar-2.