SDSU considers eliminating 9-day Spring Break

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SAN DIEGO – University leaders at San Diego State plan to vote Tuesday on a proposal to eliminate the school’s Spring Break with the days instead being split up through the spring semester.

Under the plan scheduled for a vote by the University Senate, SDSU’s nine-day spring holiday would be wiped out with leaders citing the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in San Diego County. In its place, the break would be split up into multiple “rest and recovery” days.

No assignments, examinations, instruction or meetings will be held on “rest and recovery” days, according to the meeting agenda.

In a letter to the University Senate Chair Wil Weston, San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said she supports the alternative Spring Break proposal that would distribute the days as “mini-breaks” throughout the semester.

“Allowing a nine-day case class gap would put San Diego State University (SDSU) and neighboring communities at risk of further surges and cases,” Wooten wrote in the letter, calling the schedule change “a proactive approach to protect our communities from preventable outbreaks.”

The plan also has support from more than three dozen SDSU professors and graduate students in the health field, including Dr. Eyel Oren, the interim director of the university’s School of Public Health.

“It is our firm belief that having a traditional nine-day Spring Break is irresponsible and puts out students, faculty, staff, and our local community at unnecessary risk,” they said in a letter. “This risk is especially concerning since it is preventable.

“Across the nation, colleges and universities are making similar changes to adjust their Spring schedules; and SDSU should lead the way for our region.”

Both letters acknowledge potential negative impacts on students and faculty if they’re not allowed to take a lengthy break from campus this spring. Wooten said those are “critical and valid concerns,” but that the “strenuous effects of the pandemic on the community will exacerbate if a new outbreak reaches SDSU.”

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 2 p.m. The meeting’s agenda is here.

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