IU’s decision to remove spring break concerns, relieves students on campus

Indiana University modified the spring 2021 academic calendar by eliminating spring break to help reduce the spread of COVID-19


Sydney Randall

Graphic created by Sydney Randall.

Jamie Krueger, Staff Reporter

The spring semester at IU Southeast may look and feel different this year. After careful consideration, IU officials made the decision to remove spring break from the academic calendar. The change was first announced at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester.

“To best control the pandemic, we have established the semester calendar so that when students arrive for classes in-person on Feb. 8, they generally would not be traveling to another location, possibly out of state, for the remainder of the semester,” Chuck Carney, the IU director of media relations, said. “That lessens the opportunities for exposure in other areas and through gatherings with large groups of people.” 

Carney said given that the mitigation testing, physical distancing, masking, contact tracing and increased sanitation have allowed the positivity rate to remain relatively low on IU campuses, keeping everyone on campus or at home throughout the semester is the best option for keeping the pandemic in control.

Despite the decision’s good intentions, some students believe it will be difficult not having a break from schoolwork during the spring semester. 

Elise Camarata, a senior majoring in history, said a disadvantage of the altered academic calendar is that students won’t have a designated mental break at all during the entire second semester. 

“I understand the decision in regards to traveling and preventing students from going places and spreading the virus, but for a lot of people, any kind of break is nice for students who work or have any other obligations,” Camarata said. “I wasn’t planning on traveling, but was planning on using the time to have a much needed break with being online full time.

Softball player Reecie Gilliam, a junior majoring in psychology, said it was unfortunate the university has made this decision, but it was also the smart one.

“With the [softball] season getting cancelled in early March of last year, it was hard to deal with,” Gilliam said. “I feel as if a bunch of us are going on vacation, the virus may spread and that might cause our season to shut down again. That’s just my point of view as an athlete wanting to play the sport I love.” 

Carney said he is appreciative that faculty, students, and staff have followed the campus policies for COVID-19 to prevent future outbreaks. 

“As we move toward getting more of our population vaccinated, that is our way out of the pandemic,” Carney said.