CMU approves 2023-2024 calendar, features ‘Democracy Day’

On Feb. 15, Provost and Chief Academic Officer Jim Garrett announced that the University approved the calendar for Academic Year 2023-2024 (AY23-24). Though the calendar for summer 2024 has not yet been finalized, the official calendar is now listed on the HUB website.

The AY23-24 calendar comes with a few changes. The first is the institutionalization of the 14-week semester that has been piloted for the past two years. This includes a week-long Fall Break during the week of Oct. 16 to Oct. 20 and a Spring Break from March 4 to March 8. These breaks are in line with the “7-1-7” model that was implemented this past year, meaning seven weeks of classes, a week-long break, and seven weeks of classes before finals.

Like this past year, classes for the fall semester will start the week before Labor Day on Monday, Aug. 28 while spring classes begin the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Members of the community will no longer have what was called “Tartan Community Day.” The Calendar Innovation Committee (CIC) recommended implementing Tartan Community Day in 2019 as a day to focus on “community connection, rest and pausing business as usual to support a culture of well-being.” This past year, Tartan Community Day fell on Friday, Oct. 28, the day before Homecoming.

The CIC recommended that instead of having a day off of classes, the elements of Tartan Community Day that were successful should instead be incorporated into existing activities. In his message, Garrett stated: “Building on Tartan Community Day’s impact, we are pleased to institutionalize the week-long Fall Break” and noted the amplification of current on-campus events like Homecoming.

The last addition to the AY23-24 calendar is what the University is calling Democracy Day. On Election Day — which is Nov. 7 — there will be no classes until after 5:00 p.m. This is due to the CIC’s recommendation of a two-year pilot of Democracy Day. According to Garrett, the University will “offer programming and discussions on civic service and democracy.” Additionally, supervisors are encouraged to give their staff “reasonable flexibility” for staff voting and/or volunteering.

The launch of the two-year Democracy Day pilot comes after recommendations from several campus groups, including the Commission on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression, the Undergraduate Student Senate, and the Graduate Student Association.