Spring Broke

Kate Dashiell, Staff Writer

As college students across the nation packed their bags to take a vacation during their spring break, (or even just to sleep in) Hudson Valley students found themselves bunkered down in the

cold weather, preparing for midterms without a break in sight. The college seems to be making a habit of not scheduling a spring break, and next year is expected to be the same.

“It’s bullshit,” said student Cathy Herrick.

Local colleges such as SUNY Albany, Sage and Siena offer breaks in March for students, the shortest lasting four days at Siena, and the longest extending to eight days at Sage.

According to dosomething.org, 1.5 million students go on spring break each year and collectively spend over $1 billion. The most popular destination is Daytona Beach. However, with only a long weekend, Hudson Valley students did not make the trip.

Also, a growing number of students are using their break to travel and volunteer. There are even websites, such as springbreakalternative.org or projects-abroad.org, that help connect students with opportunities to give of their time and talents to help support a cause they believe in.

From helping to build and repair houses in Jamaica, to volunteering time at an orphanage in Costa Rica, students are able to choose from an array of options.

A spring break also offers an opportunity for a student to simply take a break from their hectic lives. Four out of five college students have part time jobs while attending college, according to the 2013 College Student Pulse Survey (conducted by YouGov for Citi and Seventeen Magazine). Students average 19 hours of work a week while also taking classes full time.

Although some Hudson Valley students say they don’t need eight days like other local schools, many are not happy about the lack of full week of vacation.

“Even my professor was upset,” said student Schulyer Keimer. “I don’t think it would make that much of a difference for them to give us just a few days off in March. As students, we need it. We’re constantly going and a break after midterms would’ve been well received.”

The decision to not include a break in March, but to have a long weekend around Easter, was made as a result of needing more time for the administration to process financial aid and admissions for the following spring semester.

“Members of the faculty and administration discussed this issue at length. We felt that this was in the best interest of our students to provide additional time for notification of academic standing and progress prior to the start of the semester, given our commitment to a 75 day instructional calendar,” said Dennis Kennedy, the director of communications and marketing.

In order for the school to make sure the students and staff were receiving the proper time to process financial aid eligibility and registration for classes, the winter break was made longer and the college decided to push right through the semester with a small break in April.

Although the majority of students here at Hudson Valley wish they had had the time off in March, Dylan Agan said, “I would be more upset if the semester wasn’t about to end so early. I can live without it.”

“We’re not in high school anymore. We can tailor our schedule to fit our needs,” said student Deven Paulson. “If I want a long weekend all I have to do is make the decision in advance.”

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