Easter breaks spring trends
With a Christian holiday set earlier than in past years, students still feel yoked to their stress. | Cassidy Eldridge/THE CIMES
Spring break at many colleges brings thoughts of bikinis, beaches and booze — a much coveted rest from classes and a little amusement. Spring break has traditionally given Biola students rest as well, but perhaps a different kind. This rest revolves around the most palatial holiday for a Christian — Easter — and provides students with time to reflect and celebrate.
Reflection and celebration
The new academic calendar, which will take effect in August of 2017, will no longer give a week break surrounding the Easter holiday. Instead, the students will take a spring break during the last week of February in order to split up the new semester schedule evenly. Easter will still receive a few days of recognition as classes on Good Friday will desist for the day.
“I think it’s an interesting choice for a Christian college because we’re not going to have a more substantial time between Easter and classes, but at the same time it doesn’t really affect me that much,” said Stephanie Agnes-Crockett, senior English major.
As one of the few Christian schools left with the motivation to keep spring break over Easter — among Azusa Pacific University, Cal Baptist and Pepperdine University — the school’s decision to change has incited a variety of responses from students who believe Easter warrants a holiday break for itself.
“At a Christian school, I guess I kind of expect it to be over Easter,” said Emily Teegarden, junior nursing major. “I think I would also prefer if we have Monday [and] Thursday off, and have a little bit more of a break, because I’d like to go home over Easter.
However, the academic calendar committee, which consisted of representatives from different departments on campus, checked with some of the main student organizations to get a consensus on student opinions before they made the decision to switch the academic calendar, according to Matthew Hooper, associate dean of students and member of the academic calendar committee.
“We got a good amount of student input,” Hooper said. “We really did hear from students about that, and the biggest concern was for students who aren’t local who would have to travel to be with family over Easter. That was really the biggest concern that was brought up. There wasn’t any other concern about us not respecting Easter.”
More positives than negatives
Though the change will disappoint some students, especially those who live further away, the school believes the positive aspects of the new calendar will outweigh the loss of an Easter break. Students may even celebrate Easter in a greater way in the Biola community because they will stay on campus surrounding the holiday, so they can participate in celebration and remembrance together, according to Hooper.
“I’m actually thinking there may more significant celebration within the university context… It has the potential for that because we’re here the week following,” Hooper said. “Now that will require the movement of different aspects of the university to make that actually happen, whether that’s on the curricular side of things in the classroom, or the in the co-curricular student development, or otherwise.”