Chancellor discusses alternatives for spring break to limit COVID-19 spread

With Wisconsin becoming a hotspot in rising Covid-19 cases, University faculty and City officials at Whitewater are looking at possible alternatives for spring break in the Spring 2021 semester. Chancellor Greg Cook held his live Chancellor Chat UW-Whitewater via Webex Events on Sept. 24 to go over possible spring break alternatives, as well as an array of other inquiries about the Fall 2020 semester. 

After UW-Madison effectively cancelled their spring break, students had been wondering about their own Spring Break. This wasn’t the first time this had been brought up either. Just a day prior, on Sept. 23, the Academic Assembly Staff held a meeting to discuss possible spring break alternatives to attempt to limit the spread of Covid-19 due to the sheer number of possible students traveling. 

Most recently, a survey was sent out to students from the UW-Whitewater Student Government with possible options for SPring Break, including a long easter weekend, or several three days weekends in March. 

“We’re still discussing it,” said Cook, “Actually, we’re rediscussing it. This is something we looked at over the summer. The consensus at the time was that we would leave the spring semester calendar the way it was. But now that we know more about the virus, we’re seeing its impact, as well as some other models, such as UW-Madison, people are starting to reconsider so we’re bringing that question back up again.”

There is a possibility of extending winter break and beginning the spring semester a week later than normal. However, for many students, that break in the middle of the semester is a great destressor, so other options are being considered as well. Some of those other options include having an additional day off from classes over an extended period of time where spring break would normally be. 

Dr. Artanya Wesley, Dean of Students said “This is something students aren’t used to. We recognize that. We’re open to feedback. We’re open to do what we can to accommodate, but you also have to know our number one priority is safety. Students’ health and safety.”

Chancellor Chats happen every other week and will be held online until further notice. For more information about the rest of the agenda covered, check out this link to be able to watch the ‘Chancellor’s Chat’.