Wasted winter?

BY

Dear HLS students:

I wanted to send out a petition as we leave behind the weekend that HLS has the audacity to call our “Winter Recess” and before we forget the brevity of our “Fall Recess” and our wonderful Saturday class on January 5th.

While it is nice that HLS invites interesting visiting professors to teach Winter Term courses, I think that Winter Term should be elective. If you have enough credits to graduate, why should you be required to stay in Cambridge to take a class? Having the option to take classes over Winter Term is great, but students should not be required to exercise that option.

The approved Clinical Programs and the Winter Term Writing Project are steps in the right direction. However, if you want to conduct research without jumping through the hoops of the Winter Term Writing Project, you should have that choice (though you may not get credit for it).

Furthermore, if you want to explore your career options by doing another internship that is not an approved Clinical Program, you should also have that choice (though you may not get credit for it). Many students at HLS feel that only having two summer internships makes it difficult for them to choose a career path after graduation. The Winter Term could provide an opportunity for them to do a short internship in an area that they would not have otherwise had the chance to explore during their two summers.

If you also feel that Winter Term should be elective, please read over the following petition and send me an email (gweitz@law.harvard.edu) with your name and year and I will add your name to the signatories!

As students of HLS, we express our dissatisfaction with Winter Term being mandatory and ask the HLS Administration to make Winter term elective. As long as they fulfill their minimum credit requirements, HLS students should not be required to attend Winter Term. Unless they want credit for their activities, HLS students should be able to engage in research or an internship during Winter Term without prior approval from the HLS Registrar.

Rocky Weitz

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