In lieu of a much-anticipated fall reading week, Humber College students will be getting two days off attached to the Thanksgiving long weekend in the upcoming semester.
They are not getting a break in their tuition, however.
Moreover, the move could cost two-thirds of the college’s teachers, part-time workers on limited contracts, two days of pay.
The college announced on Jan. 15 that students would get Study Break Days on Oct. 6 and 7, leading into the Thanksgiving Day weekend.
The days are in addition to the winter Reading Week beginning Feb. 13.
The winter break incorporates the Family Day civic holiday and represents four days leave from classes.
College facilities will remain open during the two days for student use, and the University of Guelph-Humber will remain open and continue to run classes, said Humber Student and Community Engagement vice-president Jason Hunter.
OPSEU Local 562 vice president Paul Michaud said full time teachers will still be required to work these two days and ultimately students will get less classroom time but will pay full tuition.
Two-thirds of Humber’s faculty are part-time contract workers and the collective agreement between the union and college restricts the part-timers to a maximum of 12 teaching hours a week.
Humber’s Bachelor of Nursing program has a yearly tuition of $7,368.77 for domestic students. With about 140 school days a year, the financial value of the two break days equates to about $100 for nursing students.
The two days break, combined with the Thanksgiving weekend to produce a five-day interval from school, will give students time to hang with friends, flexibility in their schedule and a chance to catch up on studies, said Humber student Daniel Brown.
But he added the college should reduce tuition rates or compensate students for lost classroom time.
This is the first success for student government in the fight to get students a full week fall break., said Humber Students’ Federation president Ahmed Tahir.
The drive has been ongoing for a year and Tahir said it’s vital for students’ mental and physical well-being and to help them determine if are in the right program.
Humber may implement a week-long fall Reading Week in the 2017 term if the two days off prove successful said Tahir. The format would follow a seven-week study period, followed by a week off, and continued by a seven-week study period.