Villanova Should Schedule Spring Break Later

Joe Adams, Staff Writer

One of the best parts about college are the breaks. Getting time away from endless assignments and being able to hang out with friends for a week free from school work is much-needed.

Last week, Villanova students returned from spring break. Many took time to travel somewhere warm, and judging from the Instagram posts, people had a blast. However, I heard one common gripe between students once we returned: why wasn’t our spring break a week or two later?

There are a number of reasons for the frustration behind an earlier-than-usual spring break. I wanted to hear from Villanova students themselves, so I took to Instagram and asked my followers: “Should Villanova’s spring break be a week or two later? Why or why not?” Many respondents complained about the timing of our break.

“Yes, because it’s still winter and everyone else’s is later,” one student wrote.

“Yes, it’s too early, and Florida is still cold then,” another student wrote.

“Yes,” another student wrote. “For ‘spring break’ to start in February is ridiculous.”

Some even mentioned midterms, saying things such as, “Professors break up midterms for before and after break,” and “Midterms are not even mid-way through the semester.”

“As long as spring break is in the middle, teachers should NOT give tests or midterms the week after,” one student wrote. “It should be new content after spring break because it’s a break for a reason, and no one should study over break.”

However, the main disappointment came from the fact that other colleges and universities across the country typically hold their breaks a few weeks into March, so not being able to celebrate with other students was a letdown.

“To match with other schools’ spring breaks would be better,” one student said.

“Part of the joy of spring break is being able to see your friends from other colleges, but that’s not possible for Villanova students because barely anyone else in the U.S. seems to have their break so early,” another student wrote.

“When I was home for break, all of my friends from back home were still in school,” another respondent said. “They didn’t have their break until ours was finished.”

Looking at all of these responses, I would have to agree. Spring break taking place during the winter, with midterms occurring before and after, is not fun.

I was lucky enough to travel to Florida over the break for a few days, but my friends and I kept noticing how we were consistently the youngest people there, which was comical, yet boring at times.

But, how realistic would it be to change our spring break timing? The Villanovan reached out to the Senior Vice Provost for Academics and member of the Calendar Committee, Craig Wheeland, for some insight.

Wheeland explained that in the next few years, our break will fall later than this year’s.

“Next year, the Spring 2023 [semester] will start on January 17, so spring break will be the week of March 6,” Wheeland said. “In Spring 2024, we will also start the Spring Semester on January 16, so spring break will be the week of March 4.”

Wheeland also discussed how spring break timing is decided, saying it depended on when we start in the Spring semester.

“Spring break is normally set to occur at mid-term and not fall too close to Easter break,” Wheeland said. “Spring break usually is the first or second week of March, depending on when we start in January.”

Wheeland also talked about some of the challenges that moving spring break later would create. To create a later spring break, he said that moving the spring semester to start later in January would cause issues.

“It would move the break closer to when Easter occurs, especially in years when Easter is early,” Wheeland said. “Furthermore, a later start would mean commencement would have to be at the end of May, rather than be held mid-May. Having to move commencement creates numerous schedule conflicts, such as overlapping with the start of the summer schedule.”

So, with all of this being said, should our break be a week or two later? I still think yes because of the numerous reasons mentioned by fellow students.

However, I can see that from a logistical standpoint, it could potentially be difficult to implement.

For now, it seems that we will have to accept the reality of an early spring break and get ready to take on the second half of the semester.