This winter break, Trinity students have seven more days than the previous year. For 2012-13, the last day of fall finals is Thursday, Dec. 13, and the first day of spring classes is Wednesday, Jan. 16. In 2011-12, the very last day of finals was Dec. 15 and classes resumed Jan. 11. This change gives students and faculty an additional week to relax.

According to Fred Rodriguez, registrar, the calendar for each academic year cycles alongside the annual calendar to create a comparable number of meeting days for classes each semester. Rodriguez says that slight variations can be expected from year to year. The earliest starting date for the spring semester has been Jan. 10, which occurred in 2007.

“The academic calendar is based on a formula developed by an ad hoc committee of faculty and staff some 10 years ago. We’ve used the formula quite consistently since then. It enables Trinity to develop long-range calendars for planning purposes, which can be very useful,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez points out that the number of days for the 2012-13 break is identical to the break of 2007-08 and will be the same length in 2017-18. Every five years, the number of days between semesters is the same. This year, students have 33 days off from coursework, up from 26 last year.

Duane Coltharp, associate vice president for faculty recruitment and development, seconds Rodriguez’s thoughts and says that the first day of spring classes follows a “fairly predictable pattern.”

“I doubt that this sort of fluctuation has any concrete effect on students or faculty members,” Coltharp said.

Rodriguez believes that this break, although slightly longer than last year’s, will be beneficial to students.

“Hopefully, they’ll get lots of rest, use their time constructively, and everyone will be raring to get back to school in January,” Rodriguez said.

Many students, currently anticipating the rush of finals, did not realize the break was longer than last year’s, but are appreciative of the extra time off.

Denisse Paredes, a junior, is excited to be going home during the break.

“I will be going back to Honduras. I am ready to spend time with my family, see my friends and to eat holiday food like stuffing and turkey, and desserts too,” Paredes said.

Paredes is not the only one who looks forward to unwinding with her relatives and friends. First year Marcella Reyes has similar plans for the holiday break.

“I want to hang out with my friends, sleep in and go on a road trip with my family,” Reyes said.

Reyes, a member of the women’s cross country team, says that she will also be using the additional time off to focus on her upcoming track and field season.

“Hopefully I can get in some good mileage,” Reyes said. “I will also be cross-training as well.”

Moreover, Rodriguez hints that scheduling could change depending on the proposed curriculum changes. With the current academic calendar, however, the length of winter break operates on the cyclical rotation. For those interested, the long-range planning calendar is posted on the registrar’s web page.