For those who are sinking in assignments, on their last nerve as a result of midterms or otherwise experiencing a bout of the seasonal blues, rest assured that you only have one week to go. At the close of business on Friday, Kingston’s post-secondary students will be afforded an opportunity to catch up studies, sleep, or develop cirrhosis of the liver thanks to Reading Week. My memories of this glorious week are blurry at best, but suffice to say that the break from academia was certainly appreciated in terms of maintaining my sanity. Sure, I got reacquainted with the local bar scene, but blowing off a little bit of steam now and again helped me get through those dark winter months and prepare for the coming deluge of end of semester assignments and final exams. With more and more universities adopting Fall Reading Week as a means of promoting mental health, this got me thinking about our local post-secondary institutions:
Is there a need for a Fall Reading Week in Kingston?
- No. (46%, 77 Votes)
- Yes. (43%, 72 Votes)
- Undecided. (12%, 20 Votes)
Total Voters: 169
The idea of a Fall Reading Week, or whatever you prefer to call it, is something that Queen’s has considered thanks to a proposal brought forward by a student to the AMS back in 2007. Surprisingly, the idea was shot down by the student body due to scheduling concerns, which have been batted about via the Queen’s Journal:
The week of class time lost for a fall reading week would have to be allocated from somewhere…the summer might be a good option. A shortened summer holiday is a valid concern. Many students work full time during the summer months to help pay for tuition and rent. A break could result in a loss of earnings, but Queen’s starts comparatively late so it’s still possible for students to work until Labour Day even with an added reading week.
It does not appear that there will be any Fall relief for procrastinating and legitimately overworked undergrads in the near future, but is that the right move? Would a Fall Reading Week be too big a target for more late night, riotous parties on Aberdeen, or could it legitimately give students some much needed breathing room to focus on their studies, grad school applications and so on? I would love to collect a good mix of comments from alumni, current students on the brink of Reading Week, as well as those who went to post-secondary institutions who incorporated Fall Reading Week.