February is an unforgiving lover in Ann Arbor, where her discouraging harsh winds, painful low temperatures and paltry sunlight make winter seem interminable and groundhogs irrelevant. For all these reasons, the University’s current Spring Break schedule seems merciful, allowing students and teachers a weeklong divorce from the cruelest month and making March’s entrance seem anything but lion-like.
However, something’s rotten in the city of Ann Arbor. Passions to delay Spring Break for a week have been aroused and Michigan Student Assembly President Sarah Boot seems intent on making the vacation overhaul the capstone of her term in office. The movement’s most ardent supporters may be the University’s faculty, professors whose Senate Assembly enthusiastically approved altering the break schedule by a 74-1 vote.
Boot speculated that delaying the vacation for a week would facilitate tidy class administration, allowing all midterms and papers to fall before the midterm recess. Pending approval of the University Board of Regents, the motion will be finalized in the near future, and thus, the regents must take it upon themselves to disregard the push to postpone Spring Break.
As our break stands now, it not only revitalizes those caught in February’s doldrums, but it also falls exactly in the middle of Winter Term. The holiday is not concurrent with those of many other universities and colleges, however this facilitates visiting friends elsewhere and allows University students to sample college life at the many other centers of higher education scattered throughout our nation.
That few other schools vacation when the University does is also significant because it is this fact that has provided Boot and other students with their real impetus for change. All the talk of improved exam schedules and more manageable workloads? Pure malarkey. MSA wants change because the influential constituencies to which it kowtows have demanded it. Wet T-shirt contests in Acapulco and keg stands in Cancun are inferior facsimiles of themselves when more students from other universities are not present. Those desiring change have requested such an action because they want more girls from Kentucky for whom they can buy drinks in Negril, more guys from North Carolina with whom they can play volleyball with in Panama City. As things currently stand, the cameras for Girls Gone Wild don’t roll until the chemistry and economics lectures have already resumed at the University.
The forces of debauchery have corrupted a delayed vacation’s advocates, and the regents must not allow more wholesome arguments to obfuscate this point, which is exactly what their proposal is intended to do. Excessive drinking and wanton sexuality may be staples of spring break, yet they should not overpower the logic that was used to correctly structure the current academic calendar.
If nothing else, the regents mustn’t forget that now, we’re able to waive goodbye to tormenting February with ease, freed from the shackles of obligation and deadline. How much longer might the wounds of the shortest month linger were we further subjected to her harsh embrace?