In October of 2020, the university canceled its fall break. Students emailed staff and took to social media to air out their complaints.
After the University of Arizona canceled its 2021 spring break, students and staff of Arizona State are expecting to see a repeat of its fall break cancellation in the spring.
“It’s all so silly to me,” said Conrad Ruppelius, an engineering major at ASU. “Not only do they go overboard with the mask protocols, but they’re taking away much-needed breaks from us students.”
Ruppelius said that in his opinion, the pandemic has been dramatized by many and that we should “be very careful, but still move on with our lives.”
“I live in the Midwest, so I can’t see my family any day of the week while I’m at school,” Ruppelius said. “I don’t go to in-person classes anyway, so I’ll risk getting Covid to see my family and friends.”
Ruppelius said he’s considering taking a trip to his hometown during the spring whether spring break is canceled or not.
Ariana Ortiz, a biomedical science major at ASU, feels that cancelling breaks during the pandemic is the “best thing ASU could do.”
“I was disappointed about fall break, and will be if spring break is cancelled too, but it’s worth it,” Ortiz said. “I think students should have breaks for their mental health and for a change in routine, but the circumstances outweigh how we feel right now.”
Ortiz said that she’s not “too upset” about the possibility of having no spring break. She added that it’s “selfish” to not care about possibly infecting others with Covid-19.
“I’ve been doing everything I can to keep myself and those around me healthy and safe, and I’m willing to miss out on a one-week break to continue doing that,” Ortiz said.
The University of Arizona has implemented “reading days” in replacement of a spring break. Multiple days will be taken out of the school week for students to rest and study. These days will be scattered to discourage student travel.
Some staff members of ASU predict that the same thing could happen at Arizona State.
Azadeh Alavi, a French professor at ASU, said that staff have been talking about the possibility of canceling spring break along with fall break.
“The professors at the university don’t determine when the breaks are, so it’s all just talk for now,” Alavi said. “However, with the way that Covid is spiking in Arizona, I wouldn’t be surprised if we do the reading days like U of A is doing.”
Alavi said that she supported the cancellation of fall break and will support the prospect of having no spring break. She added that she’ll back whatever the university thinks is best for the students.
However, Alavi said that she’s concerned about students’ mental health with the cancellation of breaks.
“I’m all for containing the virus, but students are so worn down sometimes. College is constant work, and students struggle a lot of the time. I see it on their faces,” Alavi said.
Alavi said that she’s afraid if students don’t get breaks, their focus in school will stray.
“Whether the students have a spring break or not, I want them to stay focused and stay diligent with their grades,” Alavi said.