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