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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 2. 13th March 1974

Students have no say on Holidays

page 3

Students have no say on Holidays

Keen students making their way through the 1974 University Calendar may well have been surprised to discover that the August holidays were only two weeks long. They might also have noticed other changes in the university year, and wonder why this was the first time they had heard of them.

Changes to university dates were discussed at Professorial Board meetings in February and March last year when the Board recommended a similar calendar for 1974 as 1973, except for the increase to 26 teaching weeks. Discussion of the matter was recommended late in 1972 and by the end of March the Committee on Examining outlined the basis of the present 1974 calendar. Final approval came from the July Council meeting.

What is notable about this is not so much the plan itself but the fact that so little of it got out to students despite the stated need for discussion. Neither the University newsheet nor student representatives mentioned the matter. While the first omission is regrettable, the newsheet has no responsibility to students. It is a different matter with student representatives.

The removal of one week of the August vacations will make a big difference to those students who require this vacation to gain funds for the last term. It also makes an appreciable difference to university hostels who use vacation conference earnings to keep student fees down.

In view of these two considerations alone—and there are others—this issue would have been of considerable interest to students. There is probably little chance that student opinion would have made much difference to the eventual decision but it would still have maintained the credibility of student representatives on the Prof. Board and other committees if they had bothered to tell students what was going on.

From various references contained in the council minutes (which are freely available to the public from the University office) it appears that serious consideration is now being given to introducing a two semester system with two weeks holidays in April and August and a longer examination and enrolment period in June—July for 1975. Would it be asking too much of student representatives to tell students something about this, or will first notice of the decision come in the 1975 Calendar?

—Anthony Ward