Mount Royal students first to take reading break next week

MRU students will be off classes Oct. 10-14. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)
MRU students will be off classes Oct. 10-14. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)

Mount Royal University students have next week off for fall reading week — just five weeks after the start of their term.

The university, which is in Calgary, is the only one in Alberta with an October reading week. MRU expanded its break to a full five days when it moved the break up from November in 2017.

University of Calgary students take their fall term break from Nov. 7 to Nov. 11.

Phil Warsaba, MRU's vice-president of students, said the October dates are so students can access support early in the term.

"This was part of a very intentional decision for Mount Royal that was built around student success," said Warsaba.

The change was made after research done by the school's task force on mental health.

Joseph Nguyen, the MRU Students' Association president, supports the idea as a way to set students up for academic success.

"They gathered lots of data and they found out that the earlier students have a break, the more it sets them up to succeed better than if it's later," said Nguyen.

Nguyen says reading week should be for studying and reaching out to student resources.

"I think the other universities should join," he said. "Switch from November to October reading week."

Not all students are pleased with the early break, however. First-year student Shealynn Stevenson is among those calling for the university to align its fall break with other post-secondary schools.

"Personally, I don't really like it because all my midterms are before the reading week," said Stevenson.

MRU students will be off classes Oct. 10-14.