To Break, or Not to Break?

By: Dina Usanovic

Coronavirus has severely impacted the spring and fall semesters of 2020. From mandatory health check-ins and masks to online schooling, no one believed college could look like this. However, the changes being made are not yet over. Several colleges throughout Ohio have begun to look at Thanksgiving and spring breaks, wondering if they could do more harm than good.

College students look forward to the mental vacation given during these breaks from the constant assignments and deadlines of school. While some students plan vacations during these days off, others simply enjoy the time off to be with family in a stress-free environment. Regardless of what students choose to do with their breaks, they provide them with the necessary time off to recuperate and prepare for the rest of the semester. 

COVID-19 has caused higher education institutions to reconsider the consequences of these breaks. Instead of looking solely at the positive aspects- mental rest, family time, time to prepare for finals, etc.- colleges are now considering the negative aspects- opportunities to catch and spread COVID-19. 

The administrations of Baldwin Wallace University and Kent State University have decided that the possibility of students going home or on vacation during Thanksgiving and spring breaks is too high. They have, therefore, decided to alter these breaks and the following portion of the semesters. BWU has given its students only the day of Thanksgiving off, while they typically offer Wednesday-Friday of that week off. Following Thanksgiving week, they will deliver all classes remotely. In the spring semester, they have chosen to entirely eliminate spring break and, instead, extend winter break by one week. KSU has relocated spring break from March 29-April 4 to April 12-April 18, and they plan to host all classes remotely following April 18th to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With these changes happening in the Cleveland area, CSU students are wondering whether similar changes will occur to their schedules. There has not been any official communication on the faculty’s behalf regarding altered breaks or changes to class delivery following said breaks. However, there have been murmurings around campus concerning the possibility of changes being made. 

President Sands mentioned at the recent Faculty Senate that there is a possibility of changes being made to the spring semester calendar, and a few faculty members have expressed their concern that this could mean the elimination of spring break. While students understand that these are difficult decisions to be made, we implore the administration to consider the benefits of breaks, especially at a stressful time such as this one.