J-Term and OSL events gave students opportunities to study and socialize safely over the break.

During winter break, Franklin’s residence halls are usually closed. For the first time, Franklin kept its residence halls open and provided activities for students who deemed it too unsafe to travel during the 2020-21 break.

Introduce J-Term, or "January Term." To keep the university and its residences open, Franklin offered various week-long courses for students to take during the first and second weeks of January. The first set of courses began on January 4, and the second started on the 11th. Second-year student Spencer Landry enrolled in a course entitled Halls of Mirrors: A Translation Theory Taster, taught by Professor Kate Roy. He hoped this course would allow him to explore the complexity of translating texts into different languages. Spencer's interest in translation stems from his fascination with languages. While he studies political science at Franklin, he is also minoring in Germanic and Italian Studies.

"I figure that looking at linguistic translation as a field will give me a better appreciation and knowledge of translating Italian into English, and of my responsibility as a translator." During the Spring Semester, which starts on January 18, Spencer's coursework will include translating various Italian texts into English. He hopes that this one-credit translation course will prepare him for the task.

Spencer also participated in various activities organized by the Office of Student Life (OSL) during J-Term, including a virtual Christmas toast. Since March, the OSL has been swiftly adapting its events to match the cantonal and federal governments' COVID-19 safety guidelines, and the same applied to its J-Term events.

Resident Assistant (RA) Cam Rodriguez organized a sledding trip to Andermatt. A Louisiana-native, Cam has seen snow six times and hopes to lose count eventually. He loved sledding during his first year so much that he decided to organize a school trip to Andermatt: "I've never been skiing or snowboarding because where I'm from, it doesn't snow. I've been sledding a few times in Switzerland, and it was my favorite thing, so I decided to plan a sledding event."

As an RA, Cam enjoys planning and organizing student events because it gives him a chance to be creative and think outside of the box. Cam hosted a 2010's-themed virtual trivia night on January 5 and an interactive picture bingo event on January 13. He states that the virtual trivia nights are most popular, with alumni, current students, and staff participating.

In Cam's own words: "I stayed on campus for the students who have to stay on campus, so they can still have a good break even though they're away from their families. I wanted to be that middle piece for them." As an RA, he helped ensure student safety during J-Term.

To see a calendar with past and upcoming events, visit the University Calendar.