Let’s get it out of the way now and talk about this semester’s ‘Switch-Days’. Because there has been some divisive speech about it. Some people are worried how it’s going to affect syllabi and workloads. Some people are excited for multiple Mondays spent sleeping in. Most of the students, I suspect, are apathetic or are not even sure what the hubbub about ‘Switch Day’ is all about.
Let’s set the record straight.
‘Switch-Day’ is a blessing, people. Here’s why: Spring semester is full of holidays and plain old days off. January 16th marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day and barely more than a month later, we have President’s Day on February 20th. Following less than a month after this, everyone’s favorite, Spring Break, arrives. This is a lot of Mondays, and a lot of material that both teachers and students have to cram into another day.
In case you don’t know, this year is the first in which we will be getting an entire week for Spring Break. Yes, that’s right, an entire week. A lot of backbreaking, voice-losing efforts were involved in turning your three days off into five. Your fellow students fought for those two days, and without ‘Switch-Day’, their efforts could have been lost.
Speaking with Eva Bernfeld, Director of Academic Scheduling/Curriculum, I was informed that the first solution to this holiday problem was cutting back Spring Break to make up for the days missed. Fortunately, this idea of switching one of those holidays with the proceeding Tuesday was conceived, and birthed into this blessing we call ‘Switch-Day’. Thank your administration!
So this is what you need to know: following the President’s Day holiday, Monday classes will be held on Tuesday, February 21st. Tuesday classes will be canceled this day. Initially, when I heard they were going to mix Monday and Tuesday classes together on the following Tuesday I said, “Who came up with that brilliant idea!?”
But after getting my facts straight, I realized this is definitely a good thing. Good for the students, good for the faculty and good for the university for this year and many more to come. This is not the first time this method has been used. In fact, UVU had tried something similar about 10 years ago. It either just didn’t stick or wasn’t necessary to be used again until now. And BYU among many other schools have been using this for a long time, and it has worked great for them, and still does.
Some are worried it might affect their schedule when February 21 does roll around, but I think teachers should have plenty of time to plan for this, and if they let ‘Switch-Day’ affect their students too much, they’re doing something wrong. After talking with a couple students and faculty members about the new schedule and getting some brief opinions, I found that everyone had pretty much the same thing to say. One student told me they weren’t too concerned about it. Another student observed that it was too early in the semester to know how it’s going to affect us. The response I heard the most? “It’s just another day off.” The bottom line is, there doesn’t seem to be too much concern, especially when people are given the right information.
Personally, I think it is a great idea. With my schedule, I will be missing all those Monday classes for holidays, and I can see the pressure it puts on the students and the teachers to cover the material. By switching one Tuesday with a holiday-Monday, it definitely balances things out a bit. More importantly, when two days of my Spring Break are in jeopardy, it’s the greatest idea I have ever heard. No one, and I mean no one, is keeping me from my Vegas vacation. I think we can all agree, we’d rather have ‘Switch-Day’ than sacrifice any of our Spring Break. Besides, by the time Wednesday, February 22 comes, ‘Switch-Day’ will just be ‘yesterday’.
By Corin Robinson – Opinions Writer