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The Scoop on Winterim

From a former College administrator:

The idea of ending the fall term at Thanksgiving was first proposed by Carol Folt as a way for the College to save money following the 2008 financial crisis. Her argument was that the College would not need to have as many hourly paid workers on the payroll if it were closed between Thanksgiving and the normal term-end-date in December, it would have lower heating costs, etc. - and the plan was *sold* under the guise of saving students and their parents money because they would not have to travel back and forth to the College twice in a short period of time.

While there is some cost savings from not running the dining halls for these weeks, the argument that there would be savings from lower heating costs was always false because (a) whether occupied or not, the dorms still need to be heated when it is cold to prevent pipes from freezing and the structures from deteriorating, and (b) relocating the staying students to one or two dorms would be a very time-consuming and expensive exercise (you would need to pick the dorms to which all the staying students would be relocated, empty the rooms that the stayers would occupy, move the stayers in, move them out again, move the original occupants’ stuff back in, etc., all with union labor…). And under all circumstances, athletic teams would still need to be accommodated on campus over the winter break.

The faculty more or less loved Carol’s idea for obvious reasons (more than a month without teaching obligations), and President Kim thought that it was innovative and brilliant. So now we have it. My nephew hated it; so did his parents.


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