Today (Saturday, November 9th), the Graceland University Board of Trustees met to vote on the controversial Calendar Alignment Proposal.
Before the Board moved from the Shaw Center to the Administration Building, a group of over 100 people (including students, alumni, faculty, and staff) met in the quad to demonstrate their passion about Winter Term. Taking sidewalk chalk, many of these members of the Graceland community wrote condensed versions of their own Winter Term experiences and made appeals for the program’s worth.
Mike Zabel, a Board member, came to meet the group at the end of the sidewalk while the rest of the Board was finishing with lunch and sought insight into what inspired the students and others to give up over an hour of their Saturday afternoons. A few spoke up, but what they said seemed to speak to the feelings of the others present.
Zabel asked questions about what Winter Term means to students, how job opportunities are impacted with the current calendar schedule, and more. While asking these questions, he stressed how the Board of Trustees wants to work for the students, taking their opinions into account when trying to make Graceland the best university it can be.
After some time, the Board came out of the Shaw Center and many members stopped to talk with individuals who had lined up along the sidewalk. After this, the Board of Trustees went into the Administration Building for the vote.
It was eventually decided, surely thanks in part to the efforts of passionate students, that more consideration is needed to determine what should be done about Winter Term and the Calendar Alignment issue. The Board of Trustees voted to keep the current calendar for the 2014-2015 academic year, and to reconvene at a later date to deliberate further.
The thoughtful, deliberate, focused efforts of students throughout this week surely made some difference in this decision. Graceland students spoke up, defended what they believed in, and were heard.