What is the vibe on your campus in the summer? Is it quiet? Is it business as usual? What kinds of programs are running? If you have the option, do you go to campus or avoid it? Is the line at the Starbucks any shorter?
Elizabeth Lewis Pardoe, Northwestern University
I look out my office window onto the campus thoroughfare where undergrads walk, run, scooter, and cycle to and from classes during the academic year. During the summer, it fills with hoards of K-12 campers, who travel in packs, wearing matching t-shirts, led by college student councilors looking marginally better-slept than during their own midterms. These children get to eat in the dorm cafeteria behind my office, but I do not. As someone with a deep appreciation for the free dorm food I earn as a residential college fellow from September through June, I am overcome by envy as I review my own diminished prospects for comestibles in July and August, when I am denied free access to the nirvana of an all-I-can-eat buffet (pre-labeled with ingredients and calorie count) without having to lift a finger! I suspect the vast majority of the children who get to consume what I consider my food have parents who prepare and present meals on their behalves and lack the slightest sense of how very lucky they are. As ever, youth is wasted on the young!
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Georgetown University
We have a medical school, a robust graduate school, and a whole slew of summer programs for high school kids on campus. And, Georgetown (the neighborhood in D.C.) attracts a lot of tourists during the summer months. Plus, our building is literally next to the Exorcist Staircase. In other words, it’s still really busy on and especially around campus. We have to be careful not to get run over by anyone riding those dang electric scooters. So while work-wise, we have more time and space to plan and revise and rethink, the energy isn’t that much different than during the academic year.
Anamaria Dutceac Segesten, Lund University (Sweden)
Swedes take summer holidays very seriously. Since we are a public university, we follow the official calendar for state employee holidays, so we are free during the month of July. The campus is pretty much closed then, since there is no tradition of taking (or giving) summer courses.