Why doesn’t UConn have a ‘fall break?’

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Reitz said the practice of having longer holiday breaks at the expense of a fall break is more characteristic of state schools as opposed to universities like NYU. (File/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s lack of a fall recess, a long weekend in September or October, is due to several factors including longer holiday breaks and a duty to make the most of the tuition families are paying, according to university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.

The only break between the first day of classes and the beginning of Thanksgiving break (which starts on Nov. 18) is Labor Day, which grants students a long weekend after the first week of the fall semester, according to UConn’s calendar.

“We have a full week for Thanksgiving and an earlier start to the holiday break between fall and spring semesters,” Reitz said. “While some other schools do have a mini ‘recess’ in their calendars in October, they tend to have a shorter Thanksgiving break, a later December break or both.”

New York University, for instance, has a long weekend early in October (this year’s was Monday, Oct. 8) that is deemed its “fall recess.” However, NYU tends to have smaller breaks and less flexibility later on in the semester, Reitz said.

New York University’s calendar only gives students Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving week. In comparison, UConn gives students the whole week off, Reitz said.

“NYU’s final exams go up to and including Friday, Dec. 21,” Reitz said. “UConn’s end almost a week earlier.”

Reitz said the practice of having longer holiday breaks at the expense of a fall break is more characteristic of state schools as opposed to universities like NYU. Central Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University and Western Connecticut State University are state schools that also have longer holiday breaks and no fall break.

“Generally speaking, you might find the fall mini-break more often at private universities, and the system that UConn has is more common at public institutions,” Reitz said.

It is the university’s job to provide the best education possible to students given the tuition their families are paying for them to attend. Students also have the option to cater their schedules to ensure they can be done earlier in the week, Reitz said.

“Since students and their families are paying tuition with the expectation that classes will take place, we want to be sure that UConn is offering the maximum benefits and that the materials are all presented,” Reitz said. “Students always have the option to decide on their own whether they want to attend classes, and/or can schedule their activities in a way that gives them flexibility to go home for an extra day or two.”

Gavin Metsack, a seventh-semester civil engineering major, said the longer breaks UConn offers compensates for any smaller breaks earlier on.

“In addition to Labor Day weekend, UConn gives students the whole week of Thanksgiving,” Metsack said. “I think this makes up for the lack of Veterans Day and Columbus Day, which result in long weekends. I don’t think it should change.”

Jessica Reed, a fifth-semester accounting major, said it is unreasonable for the university to go three months without some type of rest.

“I definitely think UConn should give us at least one long weekend in the fall. It is absolutely insane to go 12 weeks non-stop,” Reed said. “Plus, professors still assign us work due right after Thanksgiving break, so at least one (fall break) would be nice.”


Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at taylor.harton@uconn.edu.

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