All UC campuses on the quarter system will extend their winter breaks to four weeks for the 2016–2017 school year. The vacation will now last from Dec. 9, 2016 to Jan. 9, 2017.
The one-week addition comes from the days of the week that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day occur on during the upcoming calendar year. Both holidays fall on the weekend — New Year’s Eve on a Saturday and New Year’s Day on Sunday — causing them to instead observe the academic and administrative holidays allotted on those days on Friday, Dec. 31, and Monday, Jan. 2, in order to give students and faculty their due time off. As winter quarter must start on a Monday per university policy, administrators pushed back the start of Winter Quarter by one week.
According to Claire Doan, UC Office of the President Media Specialist, given that this extended break is based on the scheduling of two nationally-celebrated holidays, it will not be a regular occurrence, and the UC system will return to its normal three weeks for the 2017–2018 academic year.
Doan also explained that changing the length of the break also ensures that all UC campuses, both quarter-based and semester-based, have similar schedules throughout the academic year.
“The extended winter break is to accommodate university holidays,” Doan told the UCSD Guardian. “However, we are also mindful of aligning the academic calendars of all campuses — both quarter-based and semester-based.”
Doan noted that, although some students may appreciate the added time off, it will not make much of a difference.
“While most students certainly welcome a longer break, I do not think an additional week would drastically [affect students positively or negatively],” Doan said.
For some UC campuses, other important events will move dates in addition to those during winter break.
Doan partially attributes this to the fact that each campus decides how to organize the instruction days within their quarter or semester schedules.
“[The University of California] has a policy of 146 days of instruction throughout the year for both the quarter and semester system,” Doan said. “The different campuses decide accordingly how they want to work that out.”
The finals schedule for UC Davis, another UC school under the quarter system, will change with the elimination of their Saturday finals and dead days, the Friday without instruction before the start of exams.
Revelle College freshman Robert Ramji plans to spend more time at home with friends and doing other activities he was unable to complete this past break with the fourth week.
“I will have a lot more time to relax and enjoy the company of friends from home,” Ramji told the Guardian. “I will also have time to go on the trips I want to and do the programming course I did not have time for over the last [winter] break.”
However, Muir College freshman Jordan Nava told the Guardian that he likes having time added to his break, but he thinks four weeks may be too lengthy and would prefer it be kept at three weeks with another week during spring break.
“I am excited to have a four-week break, but I feel like it is too much time,” Nava stated. “I think winter break should be three weeks and spring break two weeks because three weeks [for winter] and two weeks [for spring] seems like enough time to relax, but not long enough to lose your drive to work.”