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Editorial

Fall break needed for sanity of students, profs

October 27, 2006

With a lack of time off in fall semester, students can get overwhelmed with the steady buildup of classes, tests and homework. A simple answer to relieving the stresses of students and professors is to add a day or two off in October.

When comparing the academic calendar, an imbalance in resting periods is apparent. While we are given a full week to relieve our minds during spring break, no such oasis exists in the fall.

It would make sense for the University to offer at least one day off around midterm, not only for the sake of students, but faculty as well. Spring semester registration begins at this time, and a day off for advising would surely make the process go a bit smoother.

And those midterm exams can be rough.

By providing the campus community with a break, days can be devoted to studying, socializing and working. Preparing for exams allows for better grades; spending time with family and friends can make for the release of anxieties; and clocking in those extra hours adds more money to the paycheck, relieving the burden of rent, tuition and bills.

The week-long spring break provides just the right amount of time to get away from campus.

Students can choose to earn or spend in their efforts to temporarily break free from the academic world. Whether they opt to hop a plane for a tropical getaway, or simply drive down the street to that exhilarating part-time job, just being away from school for a few days can be vacation enough.

Yet fall semester offers little solace with a mere two- or three-day break for Thanksgiving -- and three-fourths of the way into the semester, at that. And after more than a month off for winter break, spring semester gears up in January, only to allow another break a quick seven weeks later.

Students already cringe at the thought of the dreaded finals schedule, as it seems that every year the last day falls closer and closer to Dec. 25.

But what do we get for preparation? Nothing.

Finals week is treated no differently than the rest of the academic year, with just a weekend to cram.

It seems as if scheduling needs to be more heavily scrutinized when planning the academic years ahead of us. Students and faculty can’t be expected to do their absolute best without a bit of time every now and then to regroup.

The hard work and dedication of students (and the faculty who put up with us) who spend years attending classes five days a week without breaks should pay off in some way.

How about a well-deserved fall break?

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