The University of Arizona shakes up spring break

The university opts for five “reading days” instead of traditional spring break

KOLD 5 p.m. Oct. 14 newscast - clipped version

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The University of Arizona switched up spring break. Students nor faculty will get the traditional week long break this year, students are not happy about the change and fear the effect it will have on their mental health.

“I woke up to an email at 7 am this morning that said spring break was canceled so that wasn’t exciting,” said Cori Manning an University of Arizona student.

The university is opting for “reading days” in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Students will have a series of five days spread throughout the semester the university says this schedule will allow classes to meet the same number of times they would in a typical semester.

But, students I spoke with are not happy about the change – they say instead of packing their bags for a getaway, they’ll still be studying.

“Its definitely hard,” said Sophia Mantville a U of A student. “In college and stuff we all need a break especially after midterms or an exam.”

Manning says given when the reading days fall on the calendar one of her classes won’t have a break all semester long.

“The motivation to actually want to do well in school is going to definitely decline.” said Manning.

“Young adults are always under a variety of pressure that is affecting their mental health,” said Nick Halsey a U of A writing instructor.

Halsey says he’s already seen toll the pandemic is having on his students.

“Just canceling it to stop covid makes sense,” said Manning. “But, in the mental health aspect doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

Manning says she went to Mexico during spring break last year.

“There’s absolutely no social distancing,” said Manning. “The clubs are nuts, it’s not the ideal situation during covid.”

“When students leave campus there’s a risk of them bringing those infections to places they may visit,” said Halsey.

Halsey did point out that spring break is still months away- and he’s just curious to see if cases will spike when students return to campus for the start of spring semester in January.

U of A says other universities like Ohio state, the university of Florida and the university of Michigan among others are also opting for the new reading day spring break substitute.

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