Students share their spring break stories, voice opinions on proposed spring break changes

The snow keeps coming, the air remains brisk, and slipping on ice is imminent. Students don L.L. Bean Boots and parkas like they’re going out of style. “The air hurts my face” meme continues to circulate on social media as temperatures drop below freezing.

Spring is in the air … or, at least spring break is.

With one week of classes left in the Orono chill before spring recess begins, students are getting antsy. And with so many opportunities for travel, entertainment and general exploration, who wouldn’t be?

When posed with the chance to talk about their spring break plans in a Facebook group, students young and old responded with a spectrum of plans. Some are participating in Alternative Breaks service-oriented volunteer trips, while others are staying at home with their families or traveling to Paris, Spain, Belize or Ireland.

Ryon Sajnovsky, a third-year studying finance and accounting, is taking the time to relax with a friend in Cancun, Mexico.

“We are most excited about laying beachside with the sun and warmth around us. We also are excited about enjoying a chance to swim in natural water that doesn’t send shivers to our bones,” Sajnovsky joked in an email. “We don’t have any set plans involving our trip other than the date and the return but that’s the exciting part; we get to be free of any deadlines or commitments that school brings.”

Ashley St. John, a third-year music education student, will be attending the Northeast district convention of Tau Beta Sigma, the National Honorary Band Service Sorority of which she is a member. The convention will take place at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

“Me and 7 [sic] of my sisters will be attending and taking several workshops on how to better our chapter and band,” St. John said. “We will get a chance to meet other chapters and communicate with our district council. We will also be voting on our next district officers and potential changes in our national constitution … this will be my first time attending and I am looking forward to bettering my chapter and myself as a person.”

This array of spring break plans amongst students is exciting. However, spring break as it is known might be coming to an end sooner than some students would like.

In 2015, the University of Maine proposed a spring break schedule change. The new break, which would first take effect in 2018, will consist of one week-long break and two separate long-weekend breaks instead of the current two-week break.

Prior to the decision, UMaine Student Government administered a poll to gauge students’ reactions. More than 2,000 students responded, and only 3 percent were in favor of the current change.

Student Government released a statement, in which they voiced their vehement disapproval of the change.

“I am only semi-aware of the changes for spring break … with two weeks to relax, it has allowed us to plan a trip for a week, away from commitments and the cold but it also has allowed us to take extra time to spend with our families that we may not get to see too often,” Sajnovsky said. “If spring break was only one week, we would have to choose between an experience of a lifetime or our families.”

“I really enjoy spring break because it gives me time to catch up on everything I need to. Mostly, sleep,” St. John added. “College is difficult and we all know its [sic] time consuming and tiring and it is so important for us as young adults to have the time to decompress and get back into rhythm.”

St. John and Sajnovsky are not alone in enjoying the two-week long spring break. According to the press release from Student Government addressing the change, 76 percent of students who voted in the poll are opposed any change to the two-week spring break model.

“I’ve never left the country or travelled much and spring break has offered me a chance to do that,” Sajnovsky said. “A chance to live, to travel, and to learn new things that can’t be taught in school.”

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