Jasper Community Voice their Opinion on the Cancellation of Spring Break

by, Victor Franco, Staff Writer

As a result of precautionary pandemic restrictions, Manhattan College decided to cancel its spring break. Typically, students and faculty get a week off of classes in mid-March where they are free to unwind and relax. However, due to the cancellation, students and faculty have pushed through the month of March with no time off. Members of the Jasper community shared their thoughts on this situation.

Shaib Sherhan

Freshman | Physics Major

What is your opinion on the school canceling spring break?

I believe it is unfair to students and professors because although most of us are remote we still have a lot of work coming from both sides. Spring break has been a tradition that many colleges are still respecting even during a pandemic. I believe that many students looked forward to this break because of the nice weather and fun activities that can be planned while following COVID-19 guidelines.

What different alternatives could the school have taken?

The only other alternative I could think of right now is that the school could’ve done what they did in the fall semester and go remotely after spring break. Although this is an alternative that can affect all resident students I don’t see why not do it if they already did it last semester.

How will this affect the mental health of students?

To a certain extent, I believe this will definitely have an effect on the mental health of many students because what normally would be a week of relaxation and destress would just be another week of school that can possibly have tests and assignments from professors.

Do you think students will show high interest in class during this week?

I don’t believe students will show any less interest, but they will be a little demotivated because of this situation. Many students enjoy this break because it allows them to recenter themselves emotionally.

Molly McLoughlin

Sophomore | Civil Engineering

What is your opinion on the school canceling spring break?

I understand why the college did it because students will still go on vacation or go to places and there’s still a chance of getting COVID and bringing it back to the school. The school doesn’t want another outbreak, and so I understand why they did it, it was kind of annoying because I like the break after midterms. But I understand why they did it and I think it was probably better overall that they did that.

What different alternatives could the school have taken?

I think it would have been nice if they did it closer to the end of the semester, and then have finals online like last semester. I think we are getting a longer Easter break which is nice.

How will this affect the mental health of students?

It’s nice to be able to decompress after midterms. Spring break is to just relax and not really have to do work for a week. In that sense, yes [it will affect mental health] because I know it’s just constant stress for the whole semester now instead of having a week-long break.

Do you think students will show high interest in class during this week?

Honestly, some students might be like “Oh I could have been on a beach somewhere relaxing instead of being in a classroom talking about something I don’t want to talk about.” I think it really will probably affect a lot of people’s mental health.

Sarah Wacker, Ph.D

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

What is your opinion on the school canceling spring break?

I understand that canceling Spring break was one of several hard decisions that the college had to make this year. While I miss having a break from classes and the time in the middle of the semester to focus on research (which is what I normally do over spring break) I also understand that a traditional Spring break where students would likely travel and then return to campus and need to quarantine wasn’t a safe option.

How has the cancellation of spring break affected your teaching schedule?

Since we were given a lot of time to plan around this calendar change, it hasn’t affected my teaching schedule.

Do you think students will show high interest in class during this week?

I am not sure whether students’ interest in class will change this week, but I do realize the entire semester and the past year have been challenging for many students. Thus I will continue to be flexible about student assignments and try to alleviate student stress whenever possible while still helping students meet their learning outcomes. Fortunately, we will have an Easter break soon!