Lindenwood students making their own spring break


Despite spring break being canceled for the semester, students are still making their own break. Photo by Pearls

Lucas Boze, Reporter

With Lindenwood’s 2021 spring break being canceled, many students have expressed disagreement with the decision.

During the fall 2020 semester, Lindenwood informed its students that there would be no spring break during the spring 2021 semester. Instead, the semester would start one week later than usual and the term would run continuously from January to May.

According to Lindenwood Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Mark Arant, the decision to cancel spring break was made by the President’s Cabinet in conjunction with the Pandemic Preparedness Team.

“The President’s Cabinet made the decision to cancel spring break and start the spring semester one week later,” Arant said. “This was done in consultation with the Pandemic Preparedness Team as well as national, state, and local health officials.”

Arant said the intent of the cancelation was to help reduce the exposure for Lindenwood staff and students, as well as lessening the risk of an outbreak on campus.

The intent and benefit of cancelling spring break was to reduce exposure to our faculty, staff, and students,” Arant said. “At the time the decision was made the region was experiencing historic highs in COVID cases with new spikes predicted in late January and early February.”

Many Lindenwood students were not excited about the fact that there would not be a much needed break during the spring semester. Now, some students have taken it upon themselves to make their own spring break.

Sophomore Austin Shariff said that he didn’t agree with Lindenwood’s decision to cancel spring break, but he understood why they did.

“I have always been taught to question things. My first thought was to be receptive of the university’s decision,” Shariff said. “Given the circumstances it was probably in the university’s best interest, but as a student I still wanted to make the most of the best years of my life.”

Shariff said he has planned a spring break of his own. He and a group of friends are traveling to Florida to replace the spring break that was taken away. Shariff said he does not feel guilty about taking a trip despite the university’s decision.

“I don’t really feel guilty about it. I pay to go to school here so I feel like I should be able to make my own decisions,” Shariff said.

Many students feel the same way that Shariff does. Students across campus are planning and taking trips despite Lindenwood’s efforts to limit travel.

Arant says that he has heard about students making their own spring break and doesn’t advise it.

“I have heard rumors regarding students taking a ‘spring break’ but I have no further details,” Arant said in an email. “I would recommend against it for safety reasons as well as missed class time. The country is not out of the pandemic yet so caution is still warranted.”

Shariff said that he has already planned ahead for the class time that he would miss while on his “spring break” trip.

“A lot of my classes are set up in a way that I can work ahead,” Shariff said. “I have completed all of my assignments that would be due during the trip to ensure that I wouldn’t miss anything or fall behind.”

While most students are abiding by the university’s decision to cancel spring break, some students still aren’t in total agreement with the decision.

Junior Layne Martin understands that it was a decision that the university had to make, but believes that they should have made a compromise instead of removing the break entirely.

“I understand that it was a necessary step for the university to keep students and staff safe and keep COVID cases down,” Martin said. “However, I feel as though we should have gotten some sort of break instead of none at all.”

Martin also thinks that the university should have left the choice to travel up to the students.

“I feel like college kids are responsible enough to make good decisions on spring break and I think they should have left it up to us, considering other colleges did not cancel spring break,” Martin said.

For Martin, having spring break canceled means more time without seeing his family.

“Spring break is usually the time that I get to go home and spend time with my family. I don’t really have the option of going home for a weekend like many other students here do,” Martin said. “Without a spring break it will be much longer until I get to see my family.”

Many Lindenwood students are in the same boat as Martin. According to Lindenwood’s webpage, 22% of Lindenwood’s students are from outside of the Midwest.

Spring break is often the only time that many students get to travel back home during the spring semester.

Along with not being able to travel home, no spring break means that students will have to run the two spring terms back to back with no time in between.

This can be especially hard for students that take eight week courses in both terms of the semester. Without a spring break, there is no time to transition between these eight week courses. On the Friday of the eighth week, a class will finish and the Monday of the ninth week, a brand new class begins.

While there are a number of reasons that students may not be happy about the decision, the choice to cancel spring break was one that the university had to make.

Arant and the rest of the Pandemic Preparedness Team had to make the decision that they thought was best for the Lindenwood community based on the research they had seen.

Validated research from various sources indicated that social gatherings were at greater risk than normal of spreading the virus,” Arant said.

Arant and other university officials wanted to make sure that Lindenwood students, staff, and faculty were able to stay on campus for the full length of the semester and avoid a situation similar to last spring.

“Thus, the cancelling of spring break was an attempt to mitigate the risk of an unmanageable outbreak on campus, which may have resulted in a repeat of last spring in sending everyone home,” Arant said. “Fortunately, the predicted spikes did not occur.”

Even though spring break was canceled, the Lindenwood University Cabinet made an announcement on Tuesday, March 9, that campus would be closed on April 1.

In recognition of our students, faculty, and staff’s hard work, we are pleased to share that Lindenwood University will be closed on Thursday, April 1, to provide a much-needed break in the semester,” the announcement read.

The announcement says that the extra day off will align with the Good Friday holiday on April 2, giving students, staff, and faculty a four day weekend.