Workers of the world – and maybe Humber students – unite.
On the day much of the world celebrates the labour movement, Humber College students will instead be celebrating May Day as their final day of classes for Winter 2015.
It should be a joyous occasion, but the later date presents problems for some graduating students.
In an email sent out from the Registrar in mid-November, students were informed the dates for the Winter 2015 semester had been changed. Instead of beginning on Jan. 7, the term would start on Jan. 12 and end on May 1.
While the majority of students relished the month-long break between semesters, many did not realize a later start date would mean a later end date as well.
When asked in an informal poll, most students said that they thought classes would end sometime in mid- to late-April.
For some, the change is minimally disruptive. For others, like Computer and Network Support student Manushi Patel, the change has had a significant impact.
Patel, a graduating student currently in the process of finding full-time employment, said the later end-date meant a later potential start date for her new job.
She said that when applying to jobs, telling employers that you were able to start earlier could be an influencing factor.
Patel had hoped to complete a workplace-related certification and get set up with a post-graduation job before May. With the new end date, she has pushed that expectation to June.
An announcement sent to college employees said Humber is committed to ensuring that accommodations are made for any students impacted by the change to the end-of-term date.
Jason Hunter, Humber’s Vice-President of Student and Community Engagement, reiterated this sentiment.
“The expectation is that, as much as possible, if any student is impacted by something that’s going to require some presence on campus that goes into May 1st, there will be efforts to make sure there isn’t an impact,” he said.
The expectation from administration is that students are looking ahead and planning for the future.
Jen McMillen, Humber’s Dean of Students, said students generally know that terms are 14 or 15 weeks long and their course outlines should have helped them identify various academic events.
“My hope would be that students are flipping all the way to the end to see what some of those things are,” McMillen said.
Hunter advised if students were running into issues of conflict with the new end date, they should be getting in touch with their program coordinators to discuss possible accommodations.