Quarters beat out semesters in the academic calendar debate

Quarters beat out semesters in the academic calendar debate

By Caitlyn Armstrong

On Dec. 3, 2013 the board of trustees announced that their final decision on the quarters to semesters debate is to continue using the quarterly academic calendar at EWU.

The official motion presented by trustee Michael O’Donnell states that, after carefully reviewing all arguments presented by staff, students, administration and also the 35 individuals who spoke out on the topic at the Nov. 8 meeting, the board believes it is in the best interest for the university at this time to remain with quarters. The motion was unanimously approved by all trustees.

“I’m happy we’re staying with quarters. They are so much less stressful than semesters and with less classes daily students are able to get jobs, which for me was really important because I need to work so I can afford to go to school,” freshman Samantha Sarrett said.

The statement also mentioned the board wishes administration and staff and the ASEWU to consider if certain major programs would benefit more from semesters and individually move to a semester system. An initial report is to be presented at the Jan. 24, 2014 board of trustees meeting.

The board also requests the administration, ASEWU and staff determine whether any improvements could be made to the current system to improve student success and have a report prepared for the March 21, 2014 meeting.

It was mentioned in the statement that the overall preference of the student body was, very clearly, to remain on quarters, and those opinions directly affected the decision of the board. The enthusiasm and involvement of all those affected by this possible change in this decision making process was noticed and taken into account. Trustee Bob Whaley commented that he was impressed with the depth of thought of the students and everyone that spoke on the subject during the discussion.

“I like quarters because they let you take less classes at one time where with semesters you would have more. Also, the classes are shorter so you are able to take a wider variety of classes during your college career,” junior Vincent Lopes said.

Students who enjoy and want to keep the quarter system are satisfied with this decision and glad their voices were heard.

“The quarter system was a big thing I looked into when choosing a college. I knew that I wanted to go to a school with quarters and that’s why I chose Eastern over other schools, so I would have been upset if they switched to semesters,” said freshman Michaela Chucka.