The University Board of Regents, after years of requests from students, passed a fall break at their December meeting. The break will begin next year and classes will not be held on Oct. 14 or 15 of the fall 2002 semester.

The regents” major concern had been that the fall break would become essentially an excuse for students to party. The regents were sufficiently convinced by Michigan Student Assembly President Matt Nolan that such problems would not be seen and that the fall break would be academically beneficial to the student body.

While this concern is only partially valid it is true that some students will use the long weekend as an excuse to party, others will surely use the extra time to catch up in classes and study as the fall break is designed to allow that students have a few extra days in fall to blow off some steam is not the end of the world.

Indeed, interim provost Lisa Tedesco”s remark that she feared a fall break would lead to “more free time and more partying” on the part of the students leads us to ask: “What”s wrong with that?”

While Nolan”s political maneuvering was admirable (and appreciated) it is hopeful that he, as leader of the student body, recognizes that a healthy dose of partying is not only safe (though the regents fear otherwise), but is also helpful in relieving the stresses of the semester.

Semantically speaking, the two days are not labeled “study days” as are the days before finals, but instead are labeled “break.” The very name implies more than just academics.

The fall break can, should and will be used as an excuse to party by some members of the student body. At the same time, other members of the student body will use the fall break as a time to study others will catch up on lost sleep, still others may visit family or friends. We thank the regents for giving us a fall break, and we assure them that, whatever we choose to do, it will be well deserved.

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