On Sep. 30, Florida State University released a new academic calendar for the Spring 2021 semester, announcing that the university is removing spring break. Students received an email about the calendar change, and the reason for this change is for the health and safety of the FSU community.
The university released an announcement that the new calendar will help “mitigate the spread of COVID-19” and that the university believes “these adjustments will reduce the potential for members of the campus community to return to Tallahassee with the virus after traveling during spring break.”
The new academic calendar begins on Jan. 6 and the first three days of classes will be taught remotely. Then, FSU will recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18 and classes will end on April 16 with finals week from April 19 to 23.
This move follows other universities across the nation in canceling spring break to help combat the spread of COVID-19 after travel. Other schools that have canceled the break include Florida A&M University, the University of Florida and the University of Alabama.
Some students at FSU believe that this change for the spring semester is a necessary change. Sophomore Maria Guidubaldi, who is currently studying exercise physiology and psychology at FSU, said, ‘’It sucks to have spring break canceled because its a much-needed break from school, but it’s ultimately for the safety of our school and our community and it is a necessary and reasonable sacrifice to make.” Maria also emphasized that the safety of the community comes first and that for her and many other students, it is worth canceling spring break if this decision is what helps the university go back to normal next year.
However, other students see drawbacks to removing the week long break for students. FSU student Sierra Miller explained, “Though I know that canceling our spring break was bound to happen and that it is definitely better for our health and safety, it would make more logical sense to extend our winter break. I know for me, I need a break after a couple of weeks of school, especially after midterms. Not having that week to have a brain break and decompress is definitely disquieting.” Sierra also discussed the possibilities of burnout from schoolwork, as many students rely on spring break to help manage difficult schedules and coursework.
While FSU has worked to prevent further spread of the virus, President Thrasher has addressed the ongoing issues with off-campus parties. Some students believe that canceling spring break is a way to prevent this from happening during the spring semester.
FSU sophomore Mac Nies mentioned, “The selfishness of those so incredibly disconnected and privileged that they can make these mistakes is robbing those who have worked hard and sacrificed comfort from the futures they deserve. To prevent another person from achieving their aspirations for the sake of a fun night is unforgivable.”
In other means to combat the spread of COVID-19, FSU also released new guidelines and requirements for students attending football games. Students who test negative for COVID-19 within a three-day window prior to the game will be allowed entry into the football game.