Campus Reacts to Spring Semester Plans

Spring Break to be Replaced by a Long Weekend in February


Samantha Hince

Students have had mixed reactions to the news that spring break will be canceled. “I understand why they’re doing it,” said first-year student Luke Wintersgill.

Samantha Hince, Associate News Editor

Bridgewater, Va. – Bridgewater College students found out this week that spring break will be canceled for the spring of 2021. A two-day winter break will be offered at the end of February, and the spring semester will start a week later in January than originally scheduled. 

The news came in an email from Dean of Students Leslie Frere on Nov. 2, which also let students know that remote learning will be an option for the spring semester. 

“It didn’t come as a surprise, but it was still hard to hear that we’re losing another aspect of the college experience,” said first-year student Ryan Roeber. “But it’s not surprising, and whatever they have to do to keep us safe and to keep us on campus, I’d rather be here than be at home, and if spring break has to be canceled for that, then I’m ok with it.” 

“I feel like we should have spring break, only cause like during that time students are getting tired of the year, they kind of need a break and go home and just relax a little bit,” said first-year student Katelyn Wiglesworth. “I don’t mind the holiday break being extended, but if it’s one or the other I’d rather have a spring break.”

“I think it’s a bummer that we will not get to spend as much time with our family, but I understand the school’s reasoning,” said junior Ben Dillon. 

Faculty members also expressed their views on spring break being canceled. 

“While I’m sad that spring break is canceled, because it’s a nice break in the middle of the semester. I think it’s a good thing for the college because it’s about public health and preserving public health,” said Associate Professor of History & Political Science Bobbi Gentry. 

“I can see the arguments on either side,” said Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Johanna Birkland. “Everybody could use a break, including faculty. But also I can see it from the side of, we don’t want students going off and traveling, and we also maybe want to give a little time after the winter holidays to prevent disease transmission.” 

The holiday break in December and January is being extended, with spring semester classes starting Tuesday, Jan. 12 instead of starting Wednesday, Jan. 6 as originally scheduled. 

“I think that’s smart on their part, said junior Sienna Sullivan. “Not only is school overwhelming just to begin with, but I think this semester, with all of the alterations and all the rules and regulations and things we have to follow, and just being on Zoom, it’s just a little bit more draining I think than usual, so I think it’s needed.”

“I like the longer winter break, said first-year student Karis David. “I was feeling like coming back January 6 felt really early, at least compared to what I’ve heard of some other schools, so it was nice to have a little bit more time.”

“Lumping an extra week onto Christmas break will allow students to get everything out of their system, whatever it may be, which will also eliminate the spring break craziness,” said first-year student Luke Wintersgill. “Do I think it will stop all students from going and doing crazy stuff on their own? Absolutely not. But I think it will help negate a lot of Covid cases.”  

Sophomore Santia Fields had a different take on the longer holiday break. 

“It’s kind of weird,” said Fields. “We’re already home for practically a month anyway, but like just extending it for a week, that’s not really going to help anything, cause we’re already home.”

“I really hope that students take this time to decompress and reconnect with their family members,” said Gentry. “Covid has given us an excellent example about what really matters and I think that this is a good opportunity to refocus on what really matters and connection with our family. I think that faculty members are going to use this extra time in order to really try and be productive between the fall and spring semester, completing research and preparing for classes.”