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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Vacation without Recreation


Contrary to popular belief, when school is out for winter recess, the UMass Boston campus does not fall into a hibernation-like stupor. Rather, this is a time of hustle-and-bustle, although most of the action is happening behind closed doors. The usually-packed Campus Center is much quieter, but if you peer into the open-window cubicles, even during winter break an empty office is a rare sight. The administrative quadrants of the university are busily preparing for the upcoming spring semester with new freshmen and transfer students to attend to.


Student Arts and Events Council member and Winter Orientation Program advisor Charles Henriques divides his time between making sure all the rooms are booked for orientation and confirming that all the novelties for opening week are running smoothly and planned out. He is also responsible for making sure all the advising centers have an estimated number of enrolled students in order to configure various budgets.


Professors occupy their offices, assembling their spring semester class syllabi while those teaching winter courses are in the midst of wrapping up the curriculum for their three-week courses.


Orientation leaders, clad in uniform grayish-blue fleeces, can be seen addressing packs of students as they tour them around the campus. Winter session students, although few in numbers, sit quietly at the tables that line the railing on each floor of the Campus Center, wishing they were back in bed. Almost every table in the Dining Hall has a student sitting at it. Strewn across the tabletop is a cardboard tray littered with dirty food wrappers, a laptop, a notebook, textbooks, and loose-leaf papers.


As one of the coordinators of the Student Arts and Events Council (our on-campus programming board), on my agenda is the responsibility of designing the literature for this spring’s opening week. As an Orientation Leader, I have been running around the campus with a group of transfer students in tow while. Whatever free time I have has been spent plugged into my desk making changes to the spring schedule.


It seems as if everyone at UMass Boston right now is under the impression that there’s so much to do and so little time left to do it. For all those here at UMass Boston during break, we join the ranks of the over-achievers, the ambitious, sharing in our inability to “relax.” Willingness to work hard while forsaking the opportunity to take a break is what defines these hardcore members of UMass Boston. The scenes we encounter in the Campus Center during winter break reflect the productivity on which UMass Boston prides itself.