Short winter break is shorter for musicians, athletes

After the hustle and bustle of finals, Cobbers will receive a much needed winter break. However, this year’s break will be 16 days, which is shorter than last year’s 19-day winter break.

Ericka Peterson, registrar, said that a lot of this year’s breaks are shorter than normal due to holidays falling on days that do not correlate with the outline of Concordia’s calendar.

Each year, classes begin before Labor Day and graduation is scheduled for the first Sunday in May. A minimum of 15 weeks is required for each semester with a certain number of Monday-Wednesday-Friday and Tuesday-Thursday classes, according to Peterson. Days for unexpected events, such as blizzards, are not worked into the calendar.

“We don’t pack the calendar so tight that we can’t miss a day here or there, but we don’t plan to move dates [such as graduation],” Peterson said.

With this information, the calendar is prepared each year, and when holidays are taken into consideration, the dates and lengths of breaks shift.

While this year’s break is brief for everyone, some students have even fewer than 16 days.

Sophomore Megan Hovinen, member of the Concordia Choir, said the choir was asked to return to campus by 4 p.m. Jan. 1 for Choir Camp, where they will practice, eat meals and spend time together. The choir is returning for extra practice because they are going on tour at the end of February, according to Hovinen.

“[We] have a month or two to prepare, but that’s not much time,” Hovinen said.

Hovinen said having a short break and returning early is not ideal, but it will be worth it in the summer.

“I don’t really like [how short it is], but I do like having a shorter winter break and longer summer break,” Hovinen said.

While choir students are losing one day of winter break, some athletes are losing much more.

Sophomore Joe Heinz, wrestler, will travel with the wrestling team to Las Vegas after finals are over. The team will wrestle in a dual tournament with some top Division III schools, then return to Minneapolis Dec. 22. After having the next five days off, their practices will begin again Dec. 28, according to Heinz.

“I don’t mind having a short break,” Heinz said. “I could have a longer one if I didn’t want to go to Vegas, but it’s a cool experience. Plus, having a shorter winter break gives me more time to work in the summer.”

Womens’ basketball players are also returning to campus Dec. 28, according to sophomore basketball player Crystal Amundson. They are coming back early to prepare for a game on Jan. 4.

“It’s unfortunate because I don’t get see my family very long,” Amundson said. “I live two hours away, which isn’t too far, but it’s not like I can run back and forth that week. I’ll have to stay here.”

One problem for many students returning to campus before the second semester begins is finding a place to stay. Residence hall do not reopen until Jan. 2 at 9 a.m.

“They announced in rehearsal for willing upperclassmen to volunteer their houses and hands shot up,” Hovinen said. “There’s at least 20 of us who live on campus, but I wasn’t thinking, ‘oh my gosh, I don’t know where I’m going to stay.’”

Hovinen said that finding housing for Concordia Choir members was not difficult because they only need to stay off-campus for one night.

According to Heinz, making sleeping arrangements is a little more challenging for the wrestlers, who need to spend five nights off campus.

“We have three wrestling houses that we’re going to pack,” Heinz said.

Twenty-two underclassmen wrestlers will stay at the three houses with the 10 or so upperclassmen that own the houses. Heinz said they usually sleep on couches, but this year there’s so many underclassmen that he plans on bringing an air mattress or sleeping bag.

“It’s not ideal, but it’s okay,” Heinz said. “We [the wrestlers] never fail to have fun when we’re all up here together.”

Clearly, there are positive and negative factors to the having a short break, but Amundson is choosing to look on the bright side.

“If break was three weeks, I’d probably have another week off with basketball as well as an extra week home with my family, but hey, I’m not going to argue with a longer summer,” Amundson said.

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