As November approaches, students are trying to prepare for another semester full of mystery, concern and illness prevention. One thing students can be definite about is saying ‘bye-bye’ to a weeklong time of relaxation and fun in the sun: Spring break. President Melinda Treadwell announced the decision during last week’s virtual town hall meeting on October 21, 2020. Students were also sent an email from the president.
The school has decided to replace the week of spring break with an extra week of winter break, meaning students will return to college on January 25, a week later than regular spring semesters.
The decision to move next semester’s spring break was approved by Keene State College’s student senate, specifically the Senate Curriculum Committee.
KSC’s Junior Class Vice President and Student Government Public Relations Co-Chair Kaitlyn Wilson said through an email that she believes this was the right decision for the college. “Many students traditionally use this time to travel to regions or countries that do not have the same precautions in place that we do here at Keene State. The risk of individuals going to high-risk areas, such as crowded beaches or cruise ships, and bringing COVID-19 back to our campus is one we
simply cannot take.”
Wilson said she is sure students won’t be too excited about the decision, but in regards to how it will protect the students and professors on campus, it is an action that is necessary. She added that she is worried about the complete elimination of a break for students’ mental health, “Going an entire semester without a break, as was done this fall, has left many students feeling overwhelmed and as if they cannot find a moment to catch their breath. For this reason, I think some students may be resistant.”
KSC senior environmental studies and sustainability dual major Julia Anselmo shares these worries. Anselmo said she understands why the decision was made but wishes the school decided to let students leave early, not arrive late to the semester. She added, “Although we won’t have the mental break in the middle of the semester, the excitement of graduating will get me through it.”
Another student, KSC junior secondary education and English dual major Lexi Munger, said she is in favor of the school’s choice to cut out spring break. Munger also said it will be difficult to go through a whole semester of nonstop classes like we did this past fall but “if taking it away means we as a school and community can continue to be on campus for as long as possible, then I am in favor for cancelling it.”
However, not all students are in favor of the college’s choice to remove spring break. It seems that those who are okay with the decision worry about the lack of mental health breaks. Whichever side they reside with, all students interviewed said they are still prepared for the spring 2021 semester.
KSC Interim Provost and Vice President of Student Affairs Ockle Johnson was not available to reply to our requests.
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