On October 13, President Cornacchia announced updates for the upcoming Spring 2021 semester to the Saint Peter’s University community via an email.
One of the main points stated in his address was the cancellation of spring break with the goal of preventing students from travelling far from campus mid-semester. Such travel would increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 among the community.
Jacob Adelhoch, a senior History and Education double major, says he recognizes the cancellation’s reasoning but also foresees likely consequences of the decision after reading the president’s email.
“I understand why Saint Peter’s might want to forego the break and end the semester early, but — with students expecting to take part in spring break extracurriculars or find spring internships — this decision may do more harm than good for the students aiming to make their mark outside of their classroom,” shares Adelhoch.
The spring break cancellation is affecting a club on campus that Adelhoch is involved in.
“I am somewhat dismayed by the school’s decision,” he says. “As a member of our school’s Model United Nations team, we were planning on hosting our own competition for New Jersey high schoolers during the spring break.”
Rebecca Marcillo-Gomez is a sophomore and Political Science major at the university. She is concerned that a lack of mid-semester reprieve could negatively affect the mental health of students — including hers.
“I understand why they cancelled the break, but personally I do not think it will be good for my mental health and my ability to do good work. It’ll be hard to just keep going with limited breaks, and my ability to make good adequate work will get worse and worse,” says Marcillo-Gomez.
Fatima Camara, a Junior and Political Science major with a minor in Africana Studies, echoes the sentiments of Marcillo-Gomez.
“I feel like it is unfair to students, and the administration is not really thinking about our mental health. We need a break,” Camara says.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has the Saint Peter’s University community grappling, along with the rest of the world, with an uncertain future. Unfortunately, it appears the pandemic will continue to be a major governing factor in our lives as we enter the Spring 2021 semester.