Campus News

Academic calendar puzzling this year

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Spring break is less than two weeks away, and with students still reeling from “Snowpocalypse ’11,” it’s not really feeling like spring around here. Unless you plan to head to an exotic locale, your spring break will probably be spent indoors—shivering. A closer look at Bethel’s class schedule shows that spring break this year actually starts the last day of February. Notre Dame, Indiana University South Bend, and Ivy Tech all have spring breaks that begin in mid-March—however; their students will still be trudging doggedly to class several weeks after Bethel’s seniors don caps and gowns for graduation ceremonies. The early end to Bethel’s school year is most of the reason spring break is also earlier, according to Dr. Dennis Crocker, vice president for academic services. “We try to have spring break about midway through the semester. We can’t end the school year any later (than May 1),” said Crocker. Bethel’s May term classes begin only a few weeks after the traditional school year ends. Crocker expresses sympathy; however, for the unique predicament that professors and students find themselves in with the early break. “I would love to have our spring break coincide with the public school system, just because there are so many faculty affected by that, but I’ve been told that doesn’t work out too well,” said Crocker ruefully. The ’10-’11 calendar gets even more interesting around Easter. Easter Sunday is April 24, the day before finals week. “It’s a quirk that happened this year,” said Crocker. “Easter changes every year, and there is nothing we can do about it. It’s really out of our control.” Students get four days off for Easter, but it comes right before the biggest studying week of the year. In a strange twist of events, Easter break and summer are only a week apart! For graduating seniors, the late holiday is bittersweet. “I feel like it’s kind of a tease to go home that early before graduation, and then have to come back,” said senior Heather Girton. Other students don’t mind the awkward timing. Junior Allison Marsh views it as a unique opportunity that students at other schools don’t have. “I appreciate having spring break as early as we do, because for people traveling it can be a lot cheaper. No one else is traveling at that time,” says Marsh. It may not be ideal to have a “spring” break with several feet of snow still on the ground, but students will be sure to take advantage of any opportunity to stop studying and enjoy some free time. With the recent snow day fading in student’s memories, spring break is starting to look better and better.
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