By Michael Nicholas
Easter is a holiday of great significance for Christians, one that celebrates and commemorates their belief in the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
As Sacred Heart University is a Catholic institution, Easter is a cherished and particularly meaningful holiday for many of the students and staff. To understand the full meaning of Easter for Christians, one must begin with Lent, which lasts for 40 days, ending three days before Easter.
During Lent, Christians often engage in various practices that they may not engage in year-round. Some examples of that might be fasting or reading the Bible daily. But whatever practice it may be, the intent is to commune with and become closer to God. Easter is then a culmination of this, and its celebration of the resurrection is the peak of this spiritual time.
“As joyous as the day is, Easter and the season of Lent are also a period of great introspection,” said Christian writer Anne Lamott in a 2011 interview with NPR.
“Easter, for me, is the time I feel most connected to my family,” said junior Andrew Cookes. “I say this as a Christian, that even during Christmas/winter break and summer break, which are both far longer, I do not feel that the time I get with my family is always as meaningful.”
When asked about how he felt about the length of Easter break, Cookes expressed a desire for it to be longer.
“In my mind, having more time at Easter break means more quality time, versus a longer summer break, which means a larger quantity of time with family,” said Cookes.
Current academic calendars at other traditionally Catholic universities like Notre Dame and Gonzaga reveal that other Easter breaks are mostly four days. Villanova and Boston College both have five days, but no such university seems to have a week-long long Easter break.
In regards to the amount of time we’re given off for Easter, junior Alex Kroudis feels it suffices.
“Easter is definitely important to me and I like having an Easter break, but I don’t know that a longer Easter break would help the learning process,” said Kroudis.
“I feel like a longer Easter break would end up meaning less time in class for professors to teach the material they need to cover,” said Kroudis.
On the idea of making other breaks smaller to allow a longer Easter break, Kroudis felt that wouldn’t make much sense.
“You’d still have too many long breaks in the middle,” said Kroudis. “The only way to fix that would be taking days out of spring break, which I don’t think anyone would agree to. Certainly I wouldn’t.”
Recent alumnus Neeraj Ramachandran has another take on the idea of a longer Easter holiday.
“I’m not a Christian or religious, but I strongly feel that a Catholic university should put more focus on Easter,” said Ramachadran.
“I’m sure a vast number of students and faculty care more about this holiday than any other,” said Ramachadran. “That being said, I’m also not sure how Easter break can be longer without cutting into spring break, but maybe Easter should take priority.”