by Cynthia Tintorri; photos by Randy Monceaux and Patricia Canavan
March 18, 2014
March 18 should have been the second day of Spring Break for students at Northampton Community College. Unfortunately, too many snow days and snow delays led to the cancellation of Spring Break, in order to make up the hours missed.
Thoai Luong was lying in bed, looking at his Twitter feed, when he got the bad news. "I checked my email, and it was true -- Spring Break was cancelled. So I started thinking, 'We should have a Spring Break on campus, and get everyone to wear bathing suits and shorts.'"
Luong enlisted the help of fellow criminal justice major John Cronce, and the two spread the message via word-of-mouth and a Twitter hashtag, #nccspringbreak.
NCC President Dr. Mark Erickson got in on the fun, ordering colorful paper umbrellas to be stuck in students' drinks in the Food Court on Monday. Sodexo manager Bob Meyer went one better. "I thought we could do more, so we set up a drink cart with Chef Char Hartley's special tropical fruit punch. I brought stuff from home to decorate."
Monday found students drinking their fruity "mocktails" in the Food Court. And on Tuesday, Luong and Cronce and their friends showed up in the Student Life Zone in shorts, tank tops, sandals, shades and leis. Beachy music blared while the would-be spring-breakers played ping-pong, threw Frisbees, and sat in a kiddy pool.
Dr. Erickson even showed up, sporting a bright NCC-orange shirt, plaid shorts and sandals. He ruled for a while at the ping-pong table.
The mock Spring Break was all in good fun. And what would Luong and Cronce have been doing if Spring Break hadn't been cancelled? "Absolutely nothing," they laugh in unison. "Sitting in our rooms, watching TV."
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