NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (WYTV) – Westminster College is modifying its spring 2021 schedule, eliminating spring break and shortening the semester, in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The first day of the spring semester is January 19, but it will finish April 30 — a week earlier than originally planned.
These changes are all an effort to minimize coronavirus risks from travel, and the mass exit and return of students to campus.
Students will be getting “self-care days” on February 18 and March 16, when there will be no classes.
Some students worry that is not enough of a break from their studies.
“We have a quiz every week. A test every month. It’s like clockwork, it’s strenuous,” said student Mark LeBlanc.
“Going through the semester, finishing up capstones, doing mid-terms and hearing that we weren’t going to get a spring break. It will be kind of the same setup as the fall. It was a little bit shocking,” said student Harrison Keenan. “There are a couple of self-care days that the school was able to implement into the schedule but still, to have a week off compared to one day off.”
Westminster President Kathy Brittain Richardson said cutting the spring break is the safest thing to do.
“I think it will be safer for our students and our college community for students to stay close to campus and not be traveling in the middle of the semester where they might be more exposed to COVID-19,” Brittain Richardson.
Since there won’t be a spring break, students will be out of school a week earlier. Richardson says ending school early will give students a chance to get a head start on a summer job or internship.
Final exams will happen May 3 through 6. Commencement is scheduled for May 8.
No changes have been made to the summer semester, which starts June 7.