Fall '08 to begin in August

By Hannah Haley

Breaking with tradition, Macalester’s 2008-2009 academic year will begin before Labor Day, more than a week earlier than the start of the current academic year. According to Dean of Academic Programs Ellen Guyer, the timing of the 2008 Republican National Convention, which is scheduled for Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul, prompted the calendar change.”We decided on an earlier start for the year because we did not want it to overlap with the Republican Convention,” she said.

“There would be no hotel rooms available and flights would be jammed. We want to make the start of year go well. The scheduling decision was really only based on that.”

The Republicans first chose St. Paul’s Xcel Center in September of last year as their convention site. The location was confirmed in January 2007, according to the Republican National Committee’s web site.

“We knew last fall about the convention and we had discussions and made our decision then,” Guyer said.

While students will begin classes a week early next fall, the spring semester will not be affected and the week will be gained back in the form of a longer winter break.

In 2008, fall classes will conclude Dec. 5. Classes for the current fall term will end Dec. 14.

“It has been our tradition to begin the spring semester the Monday following the Martin Luther King holiday,” Guyer said.

The end of the 2008-2009 academic year will fall during the same week as the end of the current academic year.