Still deep in the parameters of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alabama State University has decided to remove spring break from the 2020-21 academic calendar.
Written in the ASU Reopening Guide 2021 the university stated, “The spring 2021 semester will begin on Jan. 19, 2021. There will be no spring break due to the delayed start of the spring 2021 semester and in the best interest of all faculty, staff, and students.” Students would usually have their spring break during the week of March 17-24.
Now with the change of plans, students are trying to find a new way to acclimate from the usual spring break in March, where they usually would relax and take a break off of studying.
To accommodate students, President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., Ed.D., sent out an email on Feb. 15 stating that students will have three virtual days throughout the semester. The university will go virtual on Friday, Feb. 26, Wednesday, March 17, and Monday, April 19.
“We recognize that the absence of spring break possibly prevents the opportunity to pause and rejuvenate yourself during the course of the spring semester,” Ross said, “however, we hope that everyone acknowledges that, in great consideration of the safety and well-being of the ASU campus community, decisive decisions had to be made.”
While these virtual days may seem helpful, some students on campus believe that they are practically useless. Senior communications major Tamia Wilson is one of those students.
“Being that I already don’t have classes on Fridays, which is one of the virtual days, it doesn’t affect me positively,” Wilson explained. “I really think that it’s unnecessary because you’re still not allowed to leave campus to participate in any conjugated activities, so it’s definitely not worth it.”
In addition to the virtual days not doing her any justice, she believes that the no spring break policy is implemented for a good reason. “It is kind of sad that we don’t have a spring break, but it’s also to protect us,” Wilson added. “Being that there are new COVID-19 cases every day. So I would rather be safe than sorry,”
Similar to Wilson, junior communications major Lauren Hyche feels that the no spring break policy is very reasonable due to the current climate of the pandemic and the rising infected numbers.
“I honestly don’t have an issue with the no spring break policy because, in Alabama, the infection rate of COVID is very high!” Hyche exclaimed. “And spring break is the time that everybody meets up at the same spot, which certainly makes the infection rate higher.”
Regarding the virtual days, Hyche believes that they are ineffective to students who already have all-virtual classes.
“Personally for me, these virtual days don’t affect me. Literally, all of my classes are virtual, so them adding a day where everything is online is useless to me. I just wish that we had a three-day actual break so that I could have time to re-energize and regroup.”
Much like Wilson and Hyche, junior forensic science major Kaunda Wooten Jr. believes that an actual spring break would be enjoyable but very costly in terms of health.
“Although it would have been nice, I understand the reason behind no spring break. With COVID-19 still being an issue almost an entire year later, it would be really enticing for people to want to keep the tradition of traveling,” Wooten explained. “Sadly, many people often ditch many health safety guidelines when it comes to letting loose and having fun.”
Elaborating on the virtual days, Wooten is indifferent, “I don’t feel that they’re necessary, personally, and they don’t affect me in much anyway since my classes are already online.”
As numerous students agree to the safety precautions implemented at ASU for spring break, freshman criminal justice major Jade Thomas believes that people should be allowed to do whatever they want to as long as they follow COVID-19 protocols.
“We cannot be afraid of a virus that has been in our lives for almost a year now. I understand that the school wants to lower the risk of cases, but I feel as though I should be allowed to go to Miami if I wanted to,” Thomas said. “I always wear my mask, wash my hands, and socially distance, so I don’t see the problem of me wanting to have fun after almost a year of doing nothing but just sitting at the house. Like I didn’t even get to have my prom or actual in-person graduation. State could’ve at least given me this!”