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Senior demands reasons for poorly planned break schedules

By Miles Bett, Columnist

Do you know why I am so excited for this week to be over? Could it be that I have tests, quizzes and essays coming up? Could it be I have an extra class or some class-set field trip to an obscure site that only interests old, parchment-skinned scholars? Nope, none of that. I have a fall break.

For those of you still at Hofstra, that means I have a week-long break in the middle of autumn. That is rare, right? In fact, besides Thanksgiving, a fall break has never happened to me before. I don't mean to brag to those of you who will be in class next week toiling over papers and exams while I gallivant around Europe, drinking in its ancient culture and overall expending my intellect.

No, my real point is to reflect upon Hofstra's confusing break schedule. I am a senior so I know well the pains that come from this random, piecemeal and seemingly chaotic spattering of breaks. Imagine salt thrown onto a table; to me, that is how Hofstra selects its break periods.

One of my greatest contentions with Hofstra is its absurdly late spring break, a struggle that I know is shared not just by students but also with staff. I have been told a thousand reasons why our break is so late but I feel it is almost pointless to give us such a late week off. To anyone even vaguely aware of the effort required to pass a college level course, eight weeks is a long time to go without a day off. It is even worse, however, when you don't have a proper break from the start of February to the end of April. I remember one year in particular where I did the math and realized that after our spring break, we had two weeks of class and then our finals.

Now I ask you the question: what is the point of giving us such a break? Many of our friends had left weeks before to drink and bathe scantily in the tropics, so there is no fun there. Nor is there any real relaxation to be had. That late in a term many teachers have assigned our final papers and projects. What good is a break when all you can think about, dwell on even, is the impending deluge of essays, exams and projects that are only two weeks away?

I don't bring this up to bring forth our collective agonies, but rather to make the point that everyone but the Hofstra Administration seems to struggle with their chaotic break times.

I noticed Hofstra has decided to have classes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. This is just silly. We all work long hours at Hofstra. Many students, like myself, have a job outside school so a little time off is deeply appreciated. I understand that a fall break won't ever happen in America because of Thanksgiving, which is understandable -- but when spring break is erratic and winter holidays breathe down our necks, I simply want to know who decides these things. Of course, there are considerations of which I am completely ignorant, but a little transparency would be appreciated. When I next have a spring break less than a month before the end of term, I would like Hofstra, and not my friends or teachers, to tell me why.

Letter to the Editor (Oct. 27)

Why are these people running back and forth?