Spring break-up infuriates

Of Florida’s 11 state universities, four had spring break during the week of March 7. Florida State University and FAMU were among those four.

Due to the scattering of spring breaks throughout the state, many students and parents are upset because they did not get to enjoy spring break as they had wished.

“I have an issue with the scheduling of spring break,” said Garrett Harbison, a junior finance student at FSU from Orlando. “My best friends go to UCF and because their spring break was the week after mine, I could not go anywhere with them as we had hoped.”

The University of Central Florida’s spring break was during the week of March 14.

Two state universities, Florida International University and the University of West Florida start spring break today.

The University of Florida’s spring break started on Feb. 28. The school was the only state university to have a break during the first week of March.

“My spring break wasn’t good because the only friends I got to see were the friends I see every day up at school,” said Jimmy Kaphusman, 18, a freshman mechanical engineering student at UF.

According to the Leon County School District, most public schools in Florida are having spring break this week.

Students who have parents that work in school systems around the state were often unable to spend much time with their parents.

“I work in a school and my daughter goes to FSU,” said Mary Ceccoli, a preschool teacher in Orlando. “She was home two weeks before I was on break, so I did not get to spend much time with her at all.”

According to FSU registrar Tim Martin, FSU’s academic calendar is planned three years in advance by a committee, which is headed by Anne Rowe, the dean of students. The calendar committee does not decide start and end dates for the semester. Those are prescribed by the state. They do, however, decide on holidays such as spring break.

“Normally we try to get spring break to the as close to the first full week in March as possible,” Martin said. “It has been that way for years.”

A representative from FAMU sits on FSU’s calendar committee each year to help decide on dates.

“FSU and FAMU share academic calendar since many students take classes at both universities,” Martin said.

Martin said FSU also shares its calendar with Tallahassee Community College and Gulf Coast Community College because many students from those community colleges transfer to FSU.

There is no state regulation stating when a university takes spring break – each school’s administration decides that.

“We try out best to make our (FSU) spring break be as close to the other state universities as possible, but sometimes it just does not work out that way,” Martin said.

Florida is not the only state that has scattered spring breaks.

Throughout the country, states plan spring breaks for the universities so that they are typically between a three to four week period.

Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities have spring breaks spaced throughout March, with students on break starting March 7 all the way up to March 30. Many of Pennsylvania’s students start their break on a Wednesday, rather than a Monday like Florida’s entire student population does.

Every state university has an extended academic calendar listed of its Web site. FAMU does not have an extended calendar listed. However, students can look at FSU’s, since the two universities share calendars.

Each calendar has as a detailed list of holidays, including spring break, through summer 2006. Some universities have a calendar through summer 2007.

Although dates are sometimes tentative, students can be aware of and plan for events and breaks accordingly.

Contact Megan Brown at famuannews@hotmail.com.