Sarah Van Buskirk
University of La Verne administrators have reevaluated their plan to move January interterm to May, and will no longer be moving forward with the change that had been set for the 2025-26 academic year.
The decision to abort the move came after students expressed their unhappiness with the change via a series of meetings with the Associated Students of the University of La Verne and other forums.
An informal survey conducted by the Campus Times last month found that 23 out of 25 University students felt blindsided by the switch and thought it was a bad idea.
Among the issues raised in the Campus Times survey, students cited mental health as an important reason for maintaining January term, some saying they appreciated a long break to decompress between fall and spring semesters, and others saying they counted on the month-long miniterm to take a class, lightening their regular semester load and lowering their stress level.
Other concerns with moving January term to May had to do with putting at risk the popular January study abroad trips because airfares in May are generally much higher than in January.
Some students said January term was one reason they chose to attend the University in the first place.
Juan Regaldo, associate vice president for student affairs, said during a Nov. 13 ASULV meeting that student concerns had not been factored into the original decision to eliminate January term; when the University Board of Trustees learned how the students felt, they aborted the schedule change.
Paul Alvarez, faculty senate president and professor of kinesiology, said he hopes the University does not merely walk away from the discussion and instead find ways to enhance the January Interterm experience for all students through more course offerings in general education and major core courses, as well as enrichment offerings such as study abroad trips.
“I am personally pleased that the administration has chosen to cancel plans to move the January interterm to May,” Alvarez said. “There were too many implementation concerns that had not been addressed, and not enough clarity on what benefits the move would have for students. The January interterm has been a major benefit for students over the years, and we would do well to continue promoting it going forward.”
George Keeler, professor of journalism, agrees that January term should be expanded. January term is a perk of coming to La Verne. It is an opportunity to experience oneclass in or outside of your major “very deeply without any distractions.”
Regarding the administration’s about face, Keeler said: “Students have incredible power to do things even faculty can’t do. And they can swing administrative – and even Board of Trustees – decisions because after all we are all here for our students.
“Students have voted and they have said they really want a 50-plus year tradition to stay,” Keeler added.
“I’m glad the University decided to keep Jan term after listening to students’ concerns,” said sophomore kinesiology major Eliana Ramirez. “It’s more convenient and benefits mental health. But that does not excuse the fact that this major change was almost made without hearing students’ opinions, which is disappointing since the students’ best interest should always be taken into consideration.”
Sarah Van Buskirk can be reached at email@example.com.
Sarah Van Buskirk is a senior journalism major with a concentration in print and online journalism. She is the Spring 2024 editorial director for the Campus Times and has recently served as editor-in-chief, sports editor and staff writer. She is also currently a staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine, and a staff writer for La Verne Magazine.