posted 2012-04-25 22:37:06

Perfect Time to Party

Advantages of late CUNY spring break

Cynthia Perez

Staff Writer

Lucky Columbia University students started celebrating their spring break early, on Mar. 10. Students at NYU kicked off their partying on Mar. 12. Cornell University students commenced their celebration on Mar. 17. SUNY students

at Binghamton and Stony Brook got underway with their festivities on April 2. But what about the students at CUNY schools, like Hunter or Baruch? Students at CUNY schools had to wait until April 6 to start their spring break, but even though it seems so late in the semester, it is really perfect timing.

CUNY students may complain that spring break is too late in the semester, but it makes good sense that the break is later than those at other New York universities. Students at Columbia began their spring semester classes on Jan. 17, compared to CUNY students who began their classes on Jan. 27. NYU and Cornell also started slightly earlier than the CUNYs, on Jan. 23.

As a result of their earlier starting dates, Columbia students begin studying for their finals on April 30. Cornell students have their last day of classes on May 5, and NYU students end their spring semester classes on May 7. The last day of classes for CUNY colleges this year is May 15—it only makes sense that we begin and end at a rate that is proportional to that of private institutions.

One could also complain about the fact that private universities start a few days earlier, but end almost half a month earlier than the CUNY system. However, throughout the year, CUNY allows for more holidays off than private universities like Cornell and Columbia, who do not observe Lincoln’s Birthday or Presidents’ Day, for example. In the end, we are getting the same number of days for a semester as we would at any other college.

Since CUNY colleges are public, we also follow religious observances, specifically Jewish and Christian holidays. Spring break allows for the observances of Passover for those who practice Judaism and the observance of Easter weekend for those who practice Christianity. According to Hillel at Hunter, approximately 1800 Hunter College students are Jewish, and many other Hunter students are a part

of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. CUNY colleges want to respect groups such as Hillel and the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and allow them to have time to observe their religious practices.

Aside from reasons pertaining to the academic calendar and religious observances, the CUNY spring break actually falls in the springtime, when it is more likely to be warm. Who would want their spring break to be earlier, when it is more likely to be cold and close to winter weather?

While the CUNY spring break is later than the breaks of other colleges, the timing couldn’t be any more perfect with the warmer weather and chance to celebrate how close classes are to ending.