Spring Break continues despite COVID

Spring+break+continues+as+scheduled+for+HSU+in+regard+to+the+mental+health+of+students.

Kaela McKim

Spring break continues as scheduled for HSU in regard to the mental health of students.

As more days pass into the new world of living with COVID-19, universities are having to make tough decisions of what the coming semesters will look like. For the spring semester, multiple colleges across the nation have already decided to forgo a break while others will move forward with a regular schedule. Henderson State University is among the few to keep track with a normal spring semester.

 

According to Dr. Brad Patterson, vice president of student affairs and student success, some universities have decided to delay the start of the spring semester in order to get rid of the break altogether. However, Ark. hit the peak of the flu season around that time in Jan. of this year and could look very similar next year.

 

He explained that delaying the start of the semester would not be much help in missing that peak and also wouldn’t be necessary. The most important reason for keeping the break though is something that is often looked past; that is the mental health of students and faculty.

 

“The longer that students are in classes without a break the more mental health challenges we see,” said Patterson. “The students get stressed out, there’s higher anxiety levels. Without a break we only see an incline in those mental health challenges. We want students to have that break.”

 

He also explains that because delaying the semester will not benefit the campus in any way with missing the peak of the flu season and the break is already scheduled, it only makes sense to continue with a normal semester.

 

“We want students to have as normal of an experience as possible in a pandemic.” says Patterson.

 

As for when faculty and students leave and return from spring break, there will be constant reminders sent by the school to stay socially distanced, to wash hands, and to be safe altogether.

 

“I think a break is much needed.” said Henderson senior Kassidy Porchia. “Since the pandemic we’ve been full force with Zoom, Google Hangout, and in person classes. A mental break is necessary.”

 

She also expressed that she hopes people will take social distancing seriously before and after the break so that people can get back to a normal life.

 

“I’m genuinely happy there will be a break,” said freshman Aaron Davis. “It’s been exhausting as is and when we get back from winter break I can’t imagine going that long without time off. It’s relieving to know we’ll get one.”

 

Henderson has scheduled the coming semesters spring break to take place March 22 through 26 in 2021.