Long Beach State changed its fall break to three days from five, causing confusion on campus from the inconsistent academic calendar.
Administrators changed the fall holiday break this year to begin Wednesday, Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving. The break lasts from Wednesday to Friday.
CSULB hasn’t had a three-day fall break since 2015. Typically, Thanksgiving break begins the Monday before the holiday, giving students an entire school week off from classes.
“Calendar decisions are the result of a shared-governance approach,” said Jeff Cook, associate vice president of strategic communications. “This work is complex, and my understanding is the number of instructional days in a semester is a key consideration.”
The decision to change the school calendar came from the Campus Academic Calendar Committee, with confirmation from President Jane Close Conoley.
According to the school website, the committee develops a proposed academic calendar to meet California State University requirements as well as the needs of students and faculty. This includes the consideration of campus activities, students’ employment and academic success, and holidays.
Students have expressed frustration over these schedule changes, as the short fall break creates an inconvenience for those with holiday plans.
“I feel students and staff barely get a whole week to spend time with family and enjoy Thanksgiving,” said third-year food science major Hetvi Babaria. “Having such a short break hinders that.”
Since Thanksgiving falls late in the month this year, finals were pushed up to just a week after fall break. This rushed scheduling gives students only one week of regular classes before exams begin, prompting an inconsistent finals agenda.
The fall 2019 finals schedule lasts from Wednesday to Tuesday, while spring semester’s finals week is Monday through Saturday.
Spring session begins Tuesday, Jan. 21, just after Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
CSULB does not give students Presidents’ Day off, but it does give Cesar Chavez Day off. However, Cesar Chavez Day overlaps with spring break, resulting in another lost opportunity for a day off.
The lack of consistency in CSULB’s calendars especially affects students who fly back home during breaks.
“People live far and need time to travel,” said third-year studio arts major Natalie Spina.
Although the committee’s goal is to prioritize student needs, the three-day fall break serves to frustrate and disorient students’ expectations.
Many professors assign their students homework to complete during the holiday, and the shorter break leaves students with less time for these projects.
“[The schedule] is going to stress me out and I feel I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my break,” Babaria said.