After a full year of consultation, research, and negotiations, the StFX Students’ Union is pleased to announce that we have successfully secured StFX’s first Fall Reading Week on behalf of students, beginning in 2019.
Led by Tiffany MacLennan, Vice President Academic Affairs, the Fall Reading Week project has been an ongoing effort focused on bringing forward student concerns to administration. Proposals from similar institutions were consulted in order to develop a research framework, from which the Fall Reading Week survey was created. A large volunteer committee composed entirely of students, was assembled to promote the survey (the largest The U has had, not inclusive of “O- Crew”). 2454 students responded—the highest participation rate witnessed in any survey The U has ever conducted.
Results from the survey were incontestably in favour of the initiative, with 97.6% of respondents stating that a Fall Reading Week would be beneficial to their academic and personal success. The highest degree of support came from the Faculty of Arts with a 98.4% favourable response, followed by Science (97.4%), Business (97.3%) and Education (97.4%).
Students were allowed to anonymously elaborate on how a Reading Week would affect their fall semester. One student wrote, “University is a stressful time for most. Mental health is becoming an increasingly prevalent topic of conversation and having a fall reading week would be a great stress reliever for students. Should a fall reading week be introduced, it would enable students to catch upon school work, go home if they’re feeling homesick and/or need a break, and give themselves time for self-care and recuperation.”
The Fall Reading Week Proposal was brought forward to the University Senate on February 5th, 2019, where the motion was passed with unanimous support.
“When I was first considering running for Vice President Academic Affairs, the theme that students kept bringing to the table in terms of improving academic support at StFX was the implementation of a Fall Reading Week” said Tiffany MacLennan, Vice President Academic Affairs. “Yesterday, we were able to deliver this ask for students, which will have wide reaching effects. Based on student feedback, we are hopeful students will be able to use our new Reading Week to study, take a mental break, and contribute to their holistic success at StFX”.
The U is proud to say that the introduction of Fall Reading Week was an entirely student-led initiative, acting as a testament to the importance of student leadership at StFX. We thank every student who took time to participate and promote the survey and initiative. We hope our students enjoy a relaxing and productive Reading Week, October 14–18, 2019.
For more information, contact:
Tiffany MacLennan, Vice President Academic Affairs