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Griffin Editorial 3/22

I am tired, and I suspect that you, dear reader, are, too. At Canisius, this time of the school year is perhaps the worst. I do not have to explain the difficulties of college life in 2024, coupled with the dreariness a Buffalo winter brings, and how that causes exhaustion and burnout. Students feel it, teachers feel it; the whole campus seems to be sputtering to Tuesday when we can finally recuperate a little bit on break. 

Canisius is unique in how it deals with spring break. Locally, UB has already had their break. Canisius’ break coincides with Easter, which might make sense, since Canisius is a religious school, but other Jesuit schools have already taken their break. The University of Loyola Chicago had theirs beginning March 4, Gonzaga University in Washington had theirs on March 11, as did Marquette University, to name a few of our fellow Jesuit schools. 

Canisius should have its spring break earlier in the spring semester in the future, like so many other schools throughout the country. That is not a new opinion, it was specifically articulated in our March 31 edition last year, bringing in more information about our annual late spring break in more detail. Canisius seems to agree with that. 

Earlier this year, the Undergraduate Student Association (USA) passed a resolution asking to give a representative of the USA, namely the president, a seat on the board that decides the academic calendar. This was done with complaints about Canisius’ late spring break in mind. USA and Canisius administration struck a compromise on that issue and, according to USA President Jahare Hudson, ensured that Canisius’ late break will not be happening in future years, thus addressing the core problem that the students have with the schedule.

Additionally, Hudson reported that, while USA will not have an official seat on a committee to create the academic calendar, as such a committee does not exist, they will be consulted about scheduling in the future. All of this, it must be noted, as far as The Griffin is aware, is a verbal agreement.

The Griffin commends this approach from both the USA senate and Canisius administration. USA made its voice heard, and Canisius listened, and the whole campus is better for it. 

In that spirit, on Dec. 1, 2023, former Canisius Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Sara Morris came to the USA senate meeting and talked about Canisius’ options for spring break in the future. 

This paper covered that senate meeting in our Dec. 8 edition of “The Griffin”, so more details can be found there, but to recap: the school is hampered by a number of scheduling requirements when creating the schedule, chief among them the minimum amount of time students should be spending at school, which is obviously quite important. Also relevant is the date when the summer semester begins, and when the previous fall semester ends. Dr. Morris described, with those parameters in mind, the options Canisius has in the future with the spring semester. Notably, none of them had spring break and Easter break combined, which, considering that Easter is on April 20 next year, is a very welcome sight. One plan, which Morris said was the original plan for the spring 2025 semester, is for spring break to be the week of March 17, with a President’s Day long weekend, and an Easter five day weekend, like the one we will see next week. The problem with this plan is that it makes a break around every three weeks, which will make it hard for students to fully get into a groove during the semester.

The Griffin sympathizes with this, as we do not publish during short weeks, so our publishing schedule would be very choppy during such a semester. But out of all the options Dr. Morris described at that senate meeting, this one is the most appealing to us. Other plans put forward included having spring break on March 3, but would include caveats like ending the fall and starting the spring semester earlier, being made to have final exams scheduled on a Saturday, among other issues. Those were described more in depth in the Dec. 8 edition of “The Griffin”, but considering all those, the March 17 break plan sounds the best for us.

In an editorial from last March, “The Griffin” asked Canisius to give students more of a say in how the spring semester is scheduled, for more transparency during the scheduling process and to consider the issues with the lateness of spring break over the last couple of years. Canisius’ response to those concerns, whether that response was prompted by “The Griffin”, USA, general Canisius community opinion or, most likely, a combination of those factors is, in our view, the most important thing here. “The Griffin” is glad to see that those scheduling concerns have been addressed and thanks Canisius for it.


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