Seattle Pacific University Academic Calendar

SPU academic calendar at Seattle Pacific University will be modified, replacing the current six-week winter break with a shorter break lasting for three and a half weeks starting from  2024-25 academic year In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in 2020, the university decided to extend the winter break with the aim of preventing illness.

University Registrar Kenda Gatlin explained the administrative rationale for this modification in a recent statement.

Gatlin explained that the current seattle pacific university calendar was not intended to be a permanent arrangement. It was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the fear that resuming classes after Thanksgiving could lead to a significant spread of the virus on campus.

Since the winter of 2020, the entire SPU community has adhered to a six-week break schedule. At the conclusion of November each year, students gather their belongings and return to their homes for six weeks, allowing them to celebrate the holidays with their families.

The academic year at SPU now ends later than usual due to the longer winter break. Consequently, SPU’s summer break, which has been starting later than most other universities since 2020, is further delayed by several weeks.

There are people who are happy with the additional time off, but there are also others who prefer the old spu schedule. Joel Martin, a senior mechanical engineering student, has faced challenges in finding internships that can work with the different schedule.

Martin expressed his satisfaction with SPU’s actions in assisting students who wish to participate in internships during the summer by making necessary changes to the academic spu schedule.

Alaisa Martinez, a student in her third year of studying international sustainable development, was taken aback when she learned about the shorter winter break. Martinez had been happy with the convenience of being able to travel home just once and spend both holidays with her family, considering she resides three hours away from campus.

Martinez has to go through the Snoqualmie Pass, which is frequently closed during severe winter months. As a result, air travel becomes the sole alternative, albeit a costly one.

Martinez expressed that instead of using a bus to return home, they now have to opt for flying both ways, including flying back to Seattle. This change is not only costly but also likely to be expensive for international and out-of-state students as well.

Taylor Schmidt, an alum and graduate from the class of 2023, reminisced about a period during her first year when numerous students fell ill shortly after coming back from a break. The abrupt return to campus for final class sessions and exams resulted in a surge of flu cases during the flu season.

Schmidt mentioned that he also caught a fever and had to take final exams while being in the dorm. He admitted that he didn’t handle the situation responsibly because it was his first experience of being sick away from home.

Martinez is worried about on-campus students who may not have enough money to travel long distances for round trips within the shorter three-and-a-half week break period that is being proposed as the current plan.

Martinez expressed a concern that dorms should not be closed for people living on campus, as many may not be able to go home due to the short duration of the closure.

In addition to the worries about having a shorter vacation, there are advantages to having a more tightly-knit college community by choosing to remain on campus during the holiday season.

A lot of students who arrived at the dormitories during the COVID-19 pandemic have never had the opportunity to witness the tree-lighting ceremony in Tiffany Loop or partake in other customary activities that bring joy and solace. Schmidt nostalgically remembers the delightful moments she spent celebrating in the dorms during her first year at university.

Schmidt expressed that the sight of the illuminated campus and attending festive events in 2019 was a unique and enjoyable experience for them.

With the holiday season approaching, students will soon complete their exams and prepare to go back home for a long break to spend time with their friends and family from their hometown. There will be a noticeable change for students during this time in 2024, just as the leaves fall and the seasons shift. It is evident that SPU academic calendar is heading towards modification.

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