Still, there are 6 months to colleges and universities spring break, but it seems that the majority is canceling their plan. There are concerns about students’ travel activities in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
The University of Michigan is the latest institution to revise its 2021 academic calendar, taking away the traditional spring break period. In this regard, Michigan joins other Big Ten universities that have removed spring break for the upcoming semester, including Wisconsin Madison, Ohio State University, University of Iowa, and Purdue University.
“Calling off spring break was in the interest of preventing COVID-19 outbreaks like the one we saw across the country last spring.” Said Nancy Brick house in a message to students.
There are solid studies behind canceling the break in the spring. Pointing out a June 2020 study that surveyed the GPS smartphone data of over seven million U.S. college students during spring break. Its findings provide pragmatic, causal proof of the nationwide effects of spring breakers in relation to coronavirus’ spread.
Paul Niekamp, an economics professor at the Miller College of Business declares that they have found a noticeable increase in COVID-19 case rates, peaked two weeks after students have returned to campus. “Consistent with secondary spread to more vulnerable populations, we find an increase in mortality growth rates that peaked four to five weeks after students returned,” continued Niekamp.
These decisions are based upon the similar logic used to reconsider the fall semester, which many schools have condensed by scrapping previously planned recesses and so limiting the number of times students will be on campus. Even so, with all the protective plans, schools reportedly continue to struggle with the COVID-19 epidemic on campus.
There are schools that have taken this unfortunate incident to come up with new ideas. For instance, Carnegie Mellon and Purdue, are offering several “break days” or “reading days” instead of sprinkling throughout the spring semester.