Written for The Argo by Alyssa Grover
With the continuation of COVID-19 surfacing around the globe, all universities have been greatly affected by the pandemic. When COVID-19 first became known in March 2020, most universities established an extended spring break as universities were unaware of how to continue the remaining semester.
One year later, universities have been transferred to all virtual or hybrid classes. For this spring semester, Stockton University declared a one week extension to winter break, but has cancelled the semester’s spring break.
At the end of the student’s winter break and incoming spring break, all students received an email regarding an update on the semester schedule. This schedule did not include a spring break due to health and safety concerns. This decision did not pan well with Stockton students as many of them were puzzled and distraught.
Kiara Padilla, a student worker for the Student Development office at Stockton University, stated how the spring break cancellation is greatly affecting many clubs associating with the university, specifically the Alternative Spring Break Club (ASB). The ASB collaborates with Habitat for Humanity for a yearly spring break trip to help volunteer in the organization. Previous trips included volunteering in Restores, making donations to families, building and renovating homes within underserved communities.
“Unfortunately for the first time in past years, since the club was established, they were not given the opportunity to travel without a spring break,” stated Padilla. Moreover, other clubs have been suffering without spring break as the majority of them use the time to plan out events.
Stockton students are most affected as the cancellation dramatically impacts the remaining of their spring semester. Vincent Sacchetti, a junior accounting major, was greatly impacted by the cancellation news as it was COVID-19 related.
“I don’t agree with the spring break cancellation because students will continue to travel no matter what. They are considered adults and they will make their own decisions with or without the spring break.”
Sacchetti mentions a number of students within his virtual classes who are currently out of state and traveling. It appears that the university’s attempts to reduce travel during this week and practice COVID-19 protocols were unsuccessful.
Aside from Stockton dismissing the semester’s spring break, other universities and community colleges within the state of New Jersey had continued with the scheduled time off. Rutgers University and Atlantic Cape Community College have continued with their established spring break within the Spring 2021 semester.
Rutgers student, Jorge Bernal, was quite surprised Stockton cancelled the semester break as other schools were continuing their break.
Bernal states, “spring break is not about going to Mexico or Florida, it’s about getting a mental break. Universities should be worried about being completely online because now students are able to travel and be in class from anywhere.”
Spring break usually occurs right after midterms which students are constantly preparing
and stressing over. The week long break is needed for students to decompress and separate themselves from any assignments. Without the break that is needed, how will student’s mental health remain leveled?