On Tuesday, Chancellor Robert Jones sent out a mass mail regarding updates for Fall Break and the spring semester. Among many updates in the email, one of the updates that caught students’ attention is the cancellation of Spring Break.
Taliah Ray, a senior in LAS, said she believes that taking away breaks for students is heartbreaking.
“This is my senior year and we didn’t have a homecoming,” said Ray. “We didn’t have any of the events that we normally have anything that I was looking forward to and the only thing I was looking forward to was just snatched away.”
There are 51,605 students enrolled at the University of Illinois, and 50% live on campus. The University announced that it decided to cancel spring break to ensure the health and safety of the students and faculty.
The University also provided three non-instruction break days, on Feb. 17, March 24 and April 13, to make up for the lost spring break days.
Keena Preston, a resident advisor and senior in LAS said she understands why the break had to be cancelled, but the three break days aren’t enough.
“And I can see how it would definitely help reduce the rates if we all have to be online,” said Preston. “I think that students need that mental week to just take a step back.”
Preston said she also believes that students will travel, despite the cancelled break, students will ultimately do what they want.
“My only concern is that people will still try to take these trips to take their laptop with them,” Preston said. “But hopefully (the University) will really reinforce their testing rules and be strict with those to make sure that we aren’t having like a bunch of people something positive coming back from vacation.”
The new academic calendar was also updated due to spring break cancellations. The recent changes include:
- Classes will resume on Monday, Jan. 25.
- The spring semester will include a blend of in-person and remote classes.
- All students will be required to test for COVID-19 and limit their activities to essential activities and begin on-campus testing as soon as they return to campus.
- Testing for the spring semester resumes as early as Jan. 15.
Ray said she hopes the University prioritizes student’s wellness as it continues its efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“Honestly, we needed that mental break,” said Ray. “We needed some time, away from school, away from our computers.”
More information about COVID-19 can be found here.