Col­leges can­cel­ing spring break due to virus

Daily Press (Sunday) - - Out + About - By Lau­rie Baratti

A grow­ing num­ber of col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties are can­cel­ing spring break six months in ad­vance be­cause of con­cerns about stu­dents’ an­tic­i­pated travel ac­tiv­i­ties amid the COVID-19 pan­demic.

The Univer­sity of Michi­gan is among the lat­est in­sti­tu­tions to amend their 2021 aca­demic cal­en­dars, re­mov­ing the tra­di­tional spring break pe­riod, which it did at a Board of Re­gents meet­ing Sept. 17, ac­cord­ing to ABC News.

In do­ing so, the Univer­sity of Michi­gan joins other Big Ten uni­ver­si­ties that have elim­i­nated spring break for the com­ing se­mes­ter, in­clud­ing Ohio State Univer­sity; Pur­due Univer­sity; Univer­sity of Iowa and Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin, Madi­son.

Other schools that have fol­lowed suit in­clude Bay­lor Univer­sity, Carnegie Mel­lon Univer­sity; Iowa State Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of North­ern Iowa; Kansas

State Univer­sity; Texas Chris­tian Univer­sity; Univer­sity of Florida, Univer­sity of Ken­tucky and the Univer­sity of Ten­nessee.

Bay­lor Provost Nancy Brick­house said that call­ing off spring break was in the in­ter­est of “pre­vent­ing COVID-19 out­breaks like we saw across the coun­try last spring.”

The ra­tio­nale be­hind skip­ping next year’s spring school hol­i­days is sound, ac­cord­ing to a June 2020 study con­ducted by Ball State and Van­der­bilt, which ex­am­ined the GPS smart­phone data of over seven mil­lion U.S. col­lege stu­dents dur­ing spring break. Its find­ings pro­vide em­pir­i­cal, causal ev­i­dence of the na­tion­wide ef­fects of spring break­ers in re­la­tion to COVID-19’s spread.

Some schools, such as Carnegie Mel­lon and Pur­due, are in­stead sprin­kling sev­eral “break days” or “read­ing days” through­out the spring se­mes­ter cal­en­dar in an ef­fort to make up for the loss of a real va­ca­tion from school.

KEN WOLTER/TNS

The Univer­sity of Michi­gan is among the lat­est schools to re­move spring break from the 2021 aca­demic cal­en­dar.

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