Last Friday, President Woodward sent out an email announcing to students that there will no longer be a spring break due to an extended winter break. Instead of classes starting the second to last week of January, they will be starting on February 1st. Many factors played into this decision that was made by the President and other faculty members.
One of the main reasons that these changes will occur this year is because of COVID-19 and Connecticut regulations about quarantining and testing. President Woodward spoke about how he thought it would not make sense to have students get tested for COVID-19 before coming back to campus for spring term, only to have students leave again for spring break and have to test again before coming back. Also, depending on the state the student was traveling to, some would have to quarantine for two weeks upon returning to campus. He thought it would be an illogical decision and interfere with the daily lives of students.
He also spoke of how the Flu season this winter is predicted to be the worst one in years, and claimed that “the longer we have away from each other may be for the better”. Facing both the flu season and COVID-19 pandemic at the same time will be challenging, and President Woodward is hoping flu season will be on it’s last leg when students are returning to campus.
Because of the announcement about spring break being cancelled, President Woodward anticipated students being upset. Therefore, he is trying his hardest to create an event that would feel like spring break on campus. He talked about planning a week full of festivities for students, with food trucks and possibly even an outdoor concert. Everything is still in the works though, and what will be planned depends on how second semester is going in terms of COVID-19 rates on campus and in the state.
President Woodward also spoke about how he feels this semester is going. He stated, “The students have been amazing, the faculty and staff, their courage and ability to be flexible in the way they teach, being in hybrid setting, remote, or face to face, all the things they’ve had to learn and do, I’m just really really proud of the university. It’s been a test, an unfortunate one, but we’ve came through with really great numbers and flying colors”. President Woodward also expressed his gratitude for everyone doing their part, and his hope is that everyone will continue following the rules and regulations next semester.