colleges and universities

Spring Break is Canceled for Thousands of Connecticut College Students

The state's public colleges and universities decided to extend winter break by one week and keep students on campus through spring.

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So far, there’s been about 30 cases of COVID-19 among college students and staff living on campus at the four universities in the state college system.

“Unlike what we’re seeing around the country, where there’s hundreds of cases at some of these universities we’ve been very fortunate at our four universities so far and I hope to continue that momentum,” said Mark Ojakian, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities president.

To that end, Western, Eastern, Southern, and Central Connecticut universities will skip spring break next year in favor of a longer winter break. 

“We don’t want students going to Florida or Mexico or somewhere else during spring break and then bringing back the virus to their campus or the greater community where the campus is located,” he stated.

Students will return on January 26 and go straight through finals week in mid-May.

“You know you need the break, but I get it though,” said Nick Halkias, a CCSU senior from Berlin.

 “Let’s say someone did go, they could come back, there’s a quarantine period They could also get testing.  I feel like there’s other ways to go about this other than canceling,” said Mariah Lopez of Hartford.

It hasn’t been the senior year Lopez was hoping for.

“I feel kind of sad.  I mean this is not the first thing that’s been canceled.  It’s my senior year, activities are going to be canceled, dances are going to be canceled, everything I’m looking forward to in my senior year is kind of canceled,” she said.

Campuses will also close for the rest of 2020 when the students leave for Thanksgiving and move in-person instruction online in December.

“I feel like I learn better when I’m actually like in person and the professor’s there,” Halkias pointed out.

“The public health experts have highly recommended that once you have students on a residential campus you keep them engaged on that campus and not send them back and forth,” Ojakian explained.

When students return after winter break they’ll continue to take a majority of classes online with limited in-person instruction.  According to Ojakian, that HyFlex learning model will continue for the rest of the school year. 

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