Connecticut’s state universities are the latest in a list of US colleges that have canceled their spring break next year to avoid travel during the pandemic.
The break, which was scheduled from March 15 to 21, has been canceled at all four of Connecticut’s state universities across the east coast state.
The university also announced on Monday that the start of the spring semester will be pushed back one week to January 26.
Due to the pandemic, the governing board overseeing #Connecticut’s 4 state universities has decided to postpone the start of the spring 2021 semester by 1 week, and eliminate March spring break. Spring semester classes will start on January 26 and will conclude on May 16.
— CT Senate Democrats (@CTSenateDems) September 18, 2020
The decision came three days after the University of Michigan announced that it canceled their spring break next year due to “challenges posed by COVID-19.”
Michigan joins other Big Ten universities that have scrapped their 2021 spring break, including the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Purdue University; Ohio State University, and the University of Iowa.
Apart from that, at least nine other colleges have taken similar measures, including the University of Tennessee, the University of Florida, Baylor University, Texas Christian University, Kansas State University, the University of Kentucky, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and Carnegie Mellon University.
The revised schedules, the University of Kentucky (UK) officials say, allows the school to condense the academic calendar and encourage students to remain on campus as much as possible.
“…the revised calendar creates a condensed semester in which students remain engaged in coursework on campus, rather than potentially traveling to other regions and returning to Lexington, which would increase the risk of spreading COVID-19,” the UK officials said in a statement.
Longer Winter Break
Some universities are utilizing the changed schedule to pack in a two week quarantine period at the start of the spring season for students returning from winter break, along with an extra week for winter break.
“This delayed start (January 19) provides an extra week of Winter Break and a 14-day period following family gatherings over the Christmas and New Year holidays to quarantine in preparation for return to campus,” said Nancy Brickhouse, provost at Baylor University.
“This period also provides the option for a potential pre-semester COVID-19 testing program for students, faculty, and staff, similar to what was completed in advance of the Fall semester,” she added.
Meanwhile, to unburden the students from a break-free spring semester, Kansas, Carnegie Mellon, and Purdue are providing “break days” throughout the semester to give students and faculty a respite.
“In the coming weeks, I will be working with the Student Governing Association to identify two separate days to designate as well-being days when classes would not meet,” said Chuck Taber, provost and executive vice president at Kansas State University.