“We gotta look on the bright side of this,” said Bitko. “That means there’s only one defined week of holiday music.”
Photo by Maria Dhilla
In an attempt to get students caught up with material post-COVID, UCSD has made the “difficult” decision to condense both Fall and Winter breaks into one week at the beginning of November, during which students are “forcefully required” to observe fall and winter holidays. According to UCSD fourth-year Lark Brothout, the new policy will make students “cede all knowledge of time and free will to our rightful oppressors: the makers of the academic calendar.”
In an interview last week, Khosla said, “The expectation is that students will have Halloween on Monday, Thanksgiving on Tuesday, Black Friday on Wednesday, Christmas on Thursday, and New Year’s on Friday. If students don’t celebrate one or more of these holidays, they are expected to attend school. Students that are enjoying all holidays throughout the week will be expected to catch up on the work they have missed. We want to be fair to those who do not celebrate Holiday Week, while also condemning anyone who celebrates other, less White, less stereotypically- American holidays. We’re all about inclusivity here!”
While students are reluctant to adopt Holiday Week, local businesses have been embracing this change. Though most San Diego residents are still doing holidays on their standard dates, UCSD students are getting their Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving foods, Black Friday shopping, Christmas gifts, and New Year’s alcohol all at once. Even some non-students are catching on to what may become a popular way to celebrate the holidays.
Randy Reiker, owner of a local Whole Foods, stated, “UCSD’s got some real drive. They managed to shove all the holidays that make my store big money into a single week! We’ve been selling out of stock daily, and I’ve had to wrangle down shipments from out of state just to handle the cash flow! Best part is, since US law doesn’t recognize this week as an official holiday, all the UCSD students working here have to miss their celebrations, can’t call out, and won’t get holiday pay! To top that off, they won’t be celebrating the holidays when they normally come, so I can fill their schedules throughout the year without trouble.”
“I think it kind of makes sense this way,” said Bandrew Bitko, UCSD student and significant other of Lark Brothout, “it’s just like everything else in adulthood: there’s a lot of pain endured and money lost for a few days of fun, which you can never truly appreciate because of your own mind and body being battered physically and mentally from all the numbness you’ve forced on yourself to survive the daily slog through life. Then you’re just drained and depressed for months. I mean, that’s how holidays used to be anyways. Now, it’s the same, but you can streamline your suffering — get it all over with in a faster, more capitalistic way.”
Holiday Week has triggered an influx of emails and phone calls from parents demanding the school revert to a more traditional break schedule. In response, UCSD admin established a Holiday Week Complaint Line Department, which can be reached by texting (909) 573-5407. Some have claimed that the number is not at all connected to the HWCL Department, but is instead a Cat Facts text subscription. Reportedly, an automated messaging system sends feline-related informational texts, which has parents everywhere “clawing at the chance” to contact the school about this “cataclysmic catastrophe.”