Students, Faculty Frustrated With Spring Break Scheduling

By: Brandon Clark | Contributor |

Photo by: Michael Dunn | Photographer

The students of South Alabama are nearing the start of spring break. Whether that means catching up, making time for themselves or even going home to family, students and teachers alike are ready for some time off. However, this semester has less time off than usual.

Looking through the academic calendar archives, you can see how in past semesters, students and faculty would get a day off for Fat Tuesday and an additional week once spring break began. This year, the Mardi Gras holiday and spring break overlap, occurring in the same week. This has shortened the amount of time students have off during the semester.

“I see the idea behind scheduling spring break like that, but really it’s kind of cheating the students out of [their breaks],” said Bridgette Wilson, a freshman studying Radiological Sciences. “Students used to get off those two days and have spring break later.”

Wilson also says that the timing of this year’s spring break, as well as the lack of days off in the spring semester, contributes to students feeling like they get less of a break from school.

“Because it’s so early in the year, it’s too cold to go to the beach, which, for a lot of students who live down here, is a cheaper alternative to traveling,” said Wilson. “Also making midterm grades be due so early in the semester is a major stressor for staff and students.”

“Like many faculty and students, I use Spring break to catch up,” said Dr. Corina Schulze, a professor of Political Science and Criminal Justice, in an email interview. “I am therefore thrilled that it’s coming up sooner than later.”

Schulze said while she is glad for an earlier break this year, she would have liked to see more breaks throughout the semester than just one.

“I do think the issue is not so much that it’s ‘Spring Break,’ but that it’s really our only real break until the end of the semester,” said Dr. Schulze. “I personally would prefer slightly longer semesters with more breaks in-between.”

Dr. Amy Sprinkle, a Marine and Environmental Science professor, said the altered schedule did not affect her coursework. Much like Dr. Schulze, she plans to catch up on work. She did mention that there may be something to gain from the break, that being that students could potentially get another lecture on course material.