Students share stories about their time between semesters


Lydia Sanchez

Students are back to their studies after a seven-week break between semesters

Jack Tierney, Campus Connections Editor

UW Oshkosh students are back on campus after a nearly two-month break between the fall and spring semesters.

UWO and UW-Parkside are the only UW system schools that enjoy the luxury of a seven-week break between semesters, UW system’s academic calendar shows.

For the last time, UWO students were able to participate in a free three-week winter interim course over the long break.

Students who did not partake in the interim course left campus for a variety of reasons; some worked while some lounged, and others caught up with friends and family.

For graduating UWO senior Amelia Gonzales, the break offered a chance for a family reunion. Gonzales said her family hadn’t had a reunion celebration in nearly five years and that she was excited about the opportunity to get back together.

Gonzales said the family reunion spanned over a week and that the family count neared 50. She said she was also involved in another family union.

“I helped stage a proposal for my cousin and her boyfriend of five years, and now they’re getting married,” Gonzales said.

In all, Gonzales said the trip was a great time, and the family was able to take a new group photo in picturesque Door County.

Gonzales laughed when she spoke about the convoy of cars carrying the 50 family members from Green Bay to Door County for the picture.

Gonzales now spends the spring semester preparing for graduation, working at the Women’s Center and helping out around campus where help is needed. Gonzales will graduate with a degree in social work.

UWO student Alyssa Bates said she spent her time off-campus remodeling her mom’s kitchen with her step dad.

“That was pretty cool, trying to help him out with making cabinets and things like that,” Bates said.

Bates said she also spent her time away from campus working at Walmart in Appleton, where she has worked in addition to De Pere’s Walmart for the past four years.

Bates said she works in customer service for Walmart and said she hopes to move up to customer service manager soon.

Bates said she did not watch the low-scoring Super Bowl game but doesn’t mind watching football when she can.

“I was going to watch it, but my boyfriend was coming back from a weekend vacation, and I wanted to spend the time with him,” Bates said.

UWO freshman Rachael Luedtke said she celebrated five Christmases over break.

“Well, my family had three, and I spent two with my boyfriend’s family,” Luedtke said.

Luedtke said she received mostly kitchen supplies, which was beneficial because she enjoys cooking.

Luedtke also spent her time at home working at an American-style restaurant in Waupaca, her hometown.

Luedtke will spend the spring semester taking classes for her anthropology and social science degrees.

University police Lt. Trent Martin said campus was quiet over break, but officers took advantage of the slow time to make sure buildings were operating correctly.

“Over break, the biggest thing we focus on is the safety of the buildings,” Martin said.

Martin said the same Safewalk and Saferide programs are offered during the spring semester and encourages students to become familiar with the new transit route program.

“It’s a bus service that runs down to main street, around campus housing area and back on to campus,” Martin said. “It’s a continued route on Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.”

Martin said the bus route is operated by community service officers who are in direct contact with the department. Martin said the route offers another option for students to safely get from one destination to another.

Martins said in addition to the safe route programs, University Police are encouraged by the new features on the UWO Mobile Safe Light app; he advises students to check out the new features.

Martin said he also hopes students to get to know the officers in the police department and to get involved with events like Coffee with a Cop, which was held Feb. 13.

Martin said he is looking forward to spring, but said students should remain prepared.

“The winter is not over with, and we are still dealing with frigid weather and students should continue to dress appropriately,” Martin said.