Spring break canceled extending winter break
Desteny Maragh – Reporter
COVID-19 has pushed back the return of classes for the spring semester.
President Joe Bertolino said, “in the interests of maintaining the continued health and safety of students, faculty and staff, the decision has been made to begin the semester on January 26, 2021.”
This is a week later than previously scheduled, and it will be concluded on May 31, 2021.
“This will mean that winter break is extended by one week and spring break March 15-20, will be eliminated” said Bertolino.
Students at Southern are not happy with spring break being canceled, to say the least.
“Cases are up and it’s understandable that changes had to be made, but I was looking forward to spring break,” said English major Vanessa Rivera, a sophomore.”
Due to COVID-19, Rivera said she did not make any plans to travel but wished she could have because she has never been able to have a real spring break experience before.
Although travel plans are not on her agenda, Rivera said she would have used the time to relax and take a break from her studies.
Rivera said she has in person and online classes which has made it more difficult to keep up with all her schoolwork.
“I commute here, from Waterbury on Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester and I am not sure how often I have to come to campus next semester, if at all,” said Rivera.
Rivera said she wishes there could be unity in her schedule for next semester.
“I would prefer a fully in-person schedule or a full-online one,” said Rivera.
Looking forward to a semester without a spring break, Rivera said “It might be a tough one to get through without a break.”
The change to eliminate spring break came after a decision that all four Connecticut state schools will add an additional week to winter break.
Since one week is added to vacation, one week must be added to the academic calendar as well.
“This change to the academic calendar balances guidance provided by the state Department of Public Health with the need to maintain the number of instructional days in the semester,” Bertolino said.
Bertolino said that colleges and universities nationwide have been making similar decisions as a proactive measure to limit student travel.
With the total number of Connecticut COVID-19 cases being 99,381 and, on the rise, there is a heightened safety precaution throughout campus.
“We must be prepared to pivot as needed, dependent on the trajectory of the virus and related issues,” said Bertolino.
Bertolino said “for the same safety reasons, many institutions, including the four CSUs, will not have students return to campus after the Thanksgiving break this semester.”
With the future still unknown, and COVID-19 still vigorously present, students and faculty both are not sure of what to expect for next semester.
Spring semester, being only a few weeks away, some student’s feel a break during the semester will be needed.
Media studies major Angel Diaz, a senior, said his most memorable college times have been during spring break.
“Freshmen year, a group of friends and I took a trip to Mexico,” said Diaz. “I had an awesome time with my friends, the same guys I roomed with.”
Diaz recalled the trip, being a much-needed break from all the studying and stress he was under at the time.
“Plan for this year got canceled, I had a placed booked in Miami beach, but when the pandemic hit, I decided it was too risky,” said Diaz.
Southern canceling spring break is a measure taken in hope to “prevent the COVID-19 outbreaks that occurred after Spring Break 2020,” said Bertolino.
“Southern has a continued commitment to preserving the health and safety of our campus community,” said Bertolino.