Leaves Fall Off the Trees, Students Off the Grid
Students and faculty return to campus refreshed and ready for the second half of the semester after four days off from classes.
“Fall break gives students a chance to rest and head into the final weeks of semester,” said Scott Flanagin, director of communications and outreach for the division of student affairs. “October becomes a very long month, and there are a lot of things happening.”
Fall break was implemented last year as a result of a poll conducted by Associated Student Government in 2010. Students had made the request for a break in the fall several years prior to 2010, but they had to wait until the provost and faculty decided it was time to work on making it a reality, Flanagin said.
Students said they think that Fall break is a positive experience that helps them relax and get caught up on their school work.
“I am going to go crazy if I don’t have Fall break with law school and all,” said Ben Hale, first year law student.
Other students agree.
“With school being so stressful, it’s a little break to catch up and give you a little breather,” said Shauntell Mathis, freshman chemical engineering major. “It gives you a chance to rest and clear your mind if you actually study.”
Fall break is also another way for students to escape the drudgery of their daily routine.
“Fall break is two extra days to get out of the regular flow of things and mix things up a bit,” said Rachel Larios, freshman computer science major. “I get to sleep in a few extra days, and I have more free time to do stuff.”
Fall break gives students the opportunity to go home to visit family and friends or opens up free time for families to visit their student at the UA. For students who are not going home, several said they would find activities around campus, such as hiking at Devil’s Den or visiting the Crystal Bridges Museum, to keep them busy.
Many students said they wish that Fall break would be even longer.
“If they’re going to call it a break, it needs to be at least a week,” said Nick Lamb, freshman business major.
Faculty also note the benefit of having Fall Break.
“I think students get refreshed from being able to step away from their classes and not have to think about it for a while,” Flanagin said. “If we give them a break, they come back ready to go.”
There is no data available to see if Fall Break correlates with improved grades since it has only been in effect one year, Flanagin said.
The university was still open, and faculty and staff had to work although classes were not in session, but it was still an opportunity for faculty to relax and catch up on work, Flanagin said.
“I think it’s the same thing for faculty,” Flanagin said. “There are a lot of students on campus. I think this was an opportunity for them to relax themselves without having classes, or they could get caught up on grading papers or reading. I think everyone needed a break.”