Ryerson University is the latest to approve an additional reading week to take place in the fall. On Wednesday, Ryerson’s senate voted to shorten the fall semester from 13 weeks to 12 beginning in 2012.
At the University of Alberta, the students’ union will be polling students in an upcoming referendum to gauge support for starting the semester a week earlier, to compensate for the break. The purpose of the break is to give students the opportunity to relieve stress. “Our student counselling services had last year the highest usage numbers in November so in recognizing that February winter reading weeks are established to deal with the mental health there, November seemed like another time to take a look at,” says Nick Dehod, University of Alberta’s student president.
Several universities have implemented fall breaks in recent years, including the University of Ottawa, Trent University and the University of Toronto. Wilfrid Laurier University is examining the idea and the University of Calgary has had a fall break for years.