Group proposes maternity leave for students

Having a baby can be the most magical moment for any young couple, but it can also completely derail the quest for higher learning.

Laval University's Family Policy Committee is looking to change that, with a number of recommendations announced last week as part of a campaign to highlight to need for a change in policy to help family's study.

The group proposes a campus adapt to help the needs of new parents in school by including family residences on campus, nursing rooms, changing tables in bathrooms, high chairs and kid's menus in cafeterias and ensuring campus is a safe place for young children.

The Committee is also asking the University to implement a student maternity leave, allowing a student to voluntarily miss six consecutive semesters with fear of being dropped from their current program. As it stands, after two missed semesters a student is considered to have dropped out. There is also a call for a three semester paternity leave. 

Among the other recommendations, appropriate parent-student daycare services, allowing a parent to bring a child to class, and better accommodate parents who can only study part-time because of the need to care for their children.

The University is currently looking over and discussing the proposal with the Committee.