Fall Term Break – Tell Us What You Want!

Last year the University Senate decided that Queen’s University should implement a fall break. The Senate established the Fall Term Break Task Force to consult with students, faculty, and staff about the structure of the break.

This fall, the Task Force released a survey to Queen’s students that received over 7000 responses. In these, responses students prioritized introducing a fall term break and maintaining pre-exam study days.

We want student feedback to ensure that we are advocating for the proposal that students want. The following proposals were both developed by students using the survey data that was made available to members of the Task Force. Both options have benefits and drawbacks as presented below – we ask that you please read through them and make an informed choice.

You will have the opportunity to vote for one of the following options on the AMS Executive Election and Winter Referendum ballot. Voting days will be January 30th and 31st. The ballot will be sent to you via your Queen’s email or you can access it at http://www.queensams.simplyvoting.com.


Option 1

  • Move in day moves one week earlier to the Sunday of the weekend before Labour Day Weekend.
  • Orientation week would take place from the evening of move-in day to the following Saturday for a total of 7 orientation days. University and Faculty Orientation would maintain the same distribution of days.
  • Classes begin on Tuesday after Labour Day
  • Pre-exam study days are maintained.
  • A 4-day Fall Break by cancelling classes Tuesday to Friday after Thanksgiving weekend.

What to think about:

  • This option allows for a longer break.
  • An earlier move-in means residences will be open longer and cost more to operate, likely resulting in higher fees for students.
  • In some years, move-in day will be as early as August 24th.
  • Students may be less likely to apply for positions as Dons/Orientation-week leaders because of the requirement to arrive on campus before Orientation Week.
  • The existing orientation schedule can continue undisrupted.
  • Most first-year students will have no structured activities for 2 days before class.
  • An earlier start to classes could cut into summer employment and reduce earning potential.

Option 2

  • Move-in-day moves one day earlier to the Saturday of Labour Day Weekend.
  • University Orientation would take place the night of Move-in-day, and the Saturday and Sunday of the weekend following Labour Day Weekend. Faculty Orientation would take place from the Sunday of Labour Day weekend to Wednesday for a total of 7 orientation days.
  • Classes begin on Thursday during the week of Labour Day.
  • Pre-exam study days are maintained.
  • A 2-day Fall Break by cancelling Thursday and Friday classes before Thanksgiving weekend.

What to think about:

  • This option was presented by the Orientation Round Table to the Fall Term Break Task Force.
  • Orientation activities will need to be adjusted to accommodate the changed schedule.
  • Students will not face higher fees or lose summer income.
  • When attached to a weekend it will result in a 5-day total break, which research suggests provides the maximum benefit in terms of stress relief.
  • Orientation days will be maintained.
  • First year students are exposed to an academic setting before attending University Orientation, which may improve effectiveness.




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