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Michigan State adds fall break to include Election Day

(WILX)
Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 5:07 PM EST
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NEWS UPDATE:

Michigan State University is planning to implement a fall break next school year, which will give students Election Day off.

But some think the schedule change could undercut efforts to encourage student voting on campus.

Classes would be canceled on Monday, Nov. 2, and Tuesday, Nov. 3, which is Election Day.

Associated Students of Michigan State University, the university's student government organization, had advocated for the break to give students time to go back home to cast their votes, President Samuel Stanley said during the MSU Board of Trustees December meeting.

They released the following statement:

We, the Associated Students of Michigan State University, advocate for the implementation of Fall Break in Fall 2020. Additionally in November 2018, we passed bill 55-10, supporting the exemption of classes for election day. The aforementioned initiatives were advocated separately. During conversations with Michigan State University’s administration, one of the solutions proposed by the university was to combine the Fall Break with Election Day. While we do not necessarily want these two advocacy efforts to be combined, we will continue to advocate for students’ interests during these discussions We greatly appreciate Michigan State University’s collaboration on these student-led initiatives and we are looking forward to where these conversations will lead us.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Michigan State University students don't get a break between Labor Day and Thanksgiving but that could change as the student government body is pushing for a fall break.

The proposed break would coincide with Election Day so students wouldn't have to worry about school and finding time to vote.

And with MSU's undergraduate student government pushing for the break, it already has student support.

Faiez Samad is a former MSU student. He said, "With classes, on top of the weather, and everyone's just in their bubble, you can definitely use a break to just revamp and refresh."

President Mario Kakos says data from the counseling center backs up that students are in "crisis mental health situations" around the fall.

"In the fall semester, most students struggle with their mental health," he said. "And faculty and staff as well. This break would give everyone an opportunity to re calibrate and rest, and do whatever else they have to do in the semester."

Although some see how it could be an inconvenience for professors.

Taylor Rupp, MSU Graduate Student said, "I'm a bit on the fence. I think the students would appreciate it, but I could see it complicating the curriculum a little bit."

The proposed days for the fall break for next year would be November 2 and November 3, Election Day.

Kakos says this would give students more of an opportunity to vote in the presidential election.

"This would allow students to engage more with voting. (Give) them the opportunity to not have to vote around their classes," Kakos said. "Some professors might have final exams on that day, so that's the only thing they're thinking about."

Rupp added, "Some people don't have the opportunity for absentee voting so I think certainly if it fell under election day, I would be a stronger advocate for having a fall break."

Kakos says in the future there might be a more permanent date for fall break.

But as of right now, there hasn't been an official announcement from the university that this pilot program will happen.

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