Students confused about late start to 2019-2020 school year

There need to be 70 days of classes each semester. Collegian file photo.


This year, classes started later than usual on Aug. 28 and winter break is a full week shorter. Last year, classes started Aug. 22 and the year before that, Aug. 23. Winter break was four weeks for both previous academic years.

Michele Neary, employee in registration and records and head of Butler’s scheduling committee, said creating the academic calendar is complicated.

The committee is made up of approximately 20 heads of Butler departments, including academics, athletics and the arts.

Neary said the academic schedule revolves around Thanksgiving because it falls on a different date each year.

There needs to be 70 days of classes each semester, and professors need two weeks after Thanksgiving to teach before finals week, Neary said. With all this in mind, the committee starts counting the days. 

This year, Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 28. The last day of classes will be about two weeks after, on Dec. 13. Finals will therefore commence during the week of Dec. 16. Counting back 70 academic days from that date puts the first day of school on Aug. 28. 

Sabrina Stocks, a first-year psychology major, would have liked a longer winter break. 

“Winter break is a time where I can take a breather from school,” Stocks said.

On the other hand, Paige Green, a sophomore biochemistry and Spanish double major, said she wanted a longer summer. 

“There are no worries of exam grades and books for the coming semester,” Green said. “Not every other university has the same winter break, but I am guaranteed to see friends in the summer.” 

The academic calendar is planned all the way through the 2022-23 year, when the current first-year students graduate. The full academic schedule for the 2019-20 academic year can be found on Butler’s website.



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