Students at San Diego State University (SDSU) have been forced to change their plans as school officials decided to cancel spring break next semester. The University Senate voted 44-28 to replace the traditional nine-day break with four recovery days scattered throughout the semester.
During these rest and recovery days, students will not have assignments, exams, or meetings. The proposed schedule for these mini-breaks is February 12, March 8, March 30, and April 15.
The spring break cancelation is seen as a cautionary step to stem the surge of COVID-19 cases by discouraging travel and gatherings. After a rise in cases at the beginning of the current semester, San Diego County pressured the university to enact measures encouraging students to more closely follow coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Response to the Cancelation
Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten, faculty members, and students from SDSU’s School of Public Health approved the University Senate resolution. In a letter Wooten wrote for SDSU Senate Chair Wil Weston, she noted the apparent risks that students and their families will be subjected to if spring break goes forward as usual.
Wooten acknowledged that canceling certainly has its consequences but that another outbreak will be worse for the mental and physical health of everyone at SDSU.
Unsurprisingly, students voiced their disappointment over the ruined vacation. SDSU sophomore Erik Vaughn told Fox 5 he thinks the holiday is “very important” for students’ mental health “during a stressful school year.”
Julius Jackson, a freshman, also lamented the loss of many traditional experiences that students look forward to when they go to college. “It’s a part of the experience, man. That’s what we come to college for. I mean, I’m coming for my education, don’t get me wrong. But let’s be real,” he said.
SDSU is not the only university to follow this route.
Several schools decided to scrap spring break in favor of protecting students and preventing another COVID-19 spike. The universities on this growing list are the University of South Carolina, University of Wisconsin, Madison, University of Michigan, Purdue, and Ohio State, among many others.