Policies on break vary by school

BY
BY EMILY KRAACK
Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 14, 2003

While most students enjoyed two extra days this weekend, those
in some of the professional schools could be found Monday and
yesterday studiously applying themselves in classrooms. Students in
the Law School had their fall break last week and Dental School
students will have theirs next week. Medical School students have
no fall break.

University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said the scheduling
differences were probably due to different academic calendars in
the professional schools.

The Medical School has a significantly different schedule than
other schools. For example, first-year students have classes from
early August until the end of May. Second-year classes run from
mid-August to mid-June.

Medical School student Terry Platchek, a Michigan Student
Assembly representative, said because the Medical School schedule
is also very busy, "there's no way to remove a week for the
break."

Platchek said the lack of fall break was not an issue that was
actively pursued in the Medical School. "I haven't heard anyone
feel particularly slighted," he said. He added that medical
students expect lots of work.

Eyad Abu-Isa, also an MSA representative from the Medical
School, backed up Platchek.

"We could always use a break, but we understand that faculty
have tight schedules," he said. He pointed out that second-year
students take the first step of their U.S. Medical Licensing Exam
in mid-June and need to take a set number of sequences before
taking the exam.

This was the first year medical students got a one-day break in
October, Abu-Isa said. The break was Oct. 8, a day after
second-year students took their final exams, he said.

"I think the students all appreciate that. Having that extra one
day off makes a big difference."

Abu-Isa said the administration is very receptive to student
voices. Administrators have also been responding to a push for more
study days and have added some time for studying, he said.

Law School student Umbreen Bhatti said the discrepancies in fall
break timing did not affect her. "It made absolutely no difference
to me," she said. "I'm sure it's probably difficult for people who
want to coordinate their schedules with other students."

Bhatti said she didn't understand why the fall break comes at
different times for different schools. "I've never been able to
figure that out," she said. "(The schedules) are really not all
that different."

She pointed out that the Law School fall semester starts and
ends on the same day as most other schools. The only major
difference in schedules is that the Law School winter term ends on
May 6.