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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Editorial: Time to reschedule

At the end of this week, UC Berkeley students will officially end their Spring Semester, welcoming graduation or summer break. Meanwhile, here at UC Davis, students still have six more weeks left to slave away in Shields while spring weather and potential naps on the Quad beckon ever so temptingly.

Undoubtedly, as we stress over our second round of midterms and the onset of finals, UC Berkeley students will be starting summer internships and jobs, many of which they snatched away from talented, qualified Aggies simply because they were able to start sooner.

Boasting one of the most prestigious reputations of any local university, UC Berkeley students already pose stark competition to Davis students, especially when it comes to local jobs and internships. However, Berkeley’s academic calendar gives Cal students yet another distinct advantage in garnering summer work, as many positions advertise a starting date in late May.

So, what’s a distraught, job-seeking Aggie to do? Unfortunately, the options are limited and largely ineffective — either have a resume that is so fantastic the employer will willingly wait for you, or scour the internet for the few jobs that actually start after the end of Spring Quarter. If the latter is achieved, students should be prepared to be rushed into positions that start only days after the end of finals, allotting only the bare minimum of much-needed and well-deserved relaxation time.

UC Davis’ academic calendar is additionally detrimental to those graduating, who cannot fill the void of summer by taking additional classes.

This year will end the latest due to the added week during winter break.

In April, the unemployment rate for workers under age 25 was 16.4 percent while the overall unemployment rate was 8.1 percent. It is hard enough already for anyone to get a job in the current economy, but UC Davis’ academic calendar puts students at a unique disadvantage.

The solution is simple: UC Davis needs to change its academic calendar to match those of top-tier universities in order to make students more competitive. Whether or not this requires a shift from a quarter to a semester system is uncertain, but the change must be made regardless.

All university students are feeling the pinch of tough economic times. Sending in resumes simply to be ignored and getting rejected from unpaid internships are not exactly self-esteem boosters. Under these circumstances, the suggestion of ending school five weeks sooner may not seem to be very consoling. But you never know — a changed academic calendar could mean the difference between landing a great internship and spending another summer waiting by the phone.

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