UW- Madison Faculty Senate votes to cancel spring break, approves new academic calendar

The change will move the start date of the spring semester back a week
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 7:17 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV/AP) - UW-Madison’s Faculty Senate voted in favor of canceling the university’s 2021 spring break on Monday afternoon.

Instead of a week-long break, the university will give students off three additional days.

In the proposal, the 2021 spring semester will start a week later than usual, with classes set to begin on January 25 instead of January 19. Instead of spring break from March 27 to April 4, UW-Madison would give students off March 27 as well as April 2 and 3.

In the proposal document, school officials said this was being proposed “amid concerns that a typical spring break, when many travel far and wide, would result in an unmanageable outbreak of COVID-19.” You can find the full document here.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank stood by her decision of starting the school year off with in-person classes and said having students in the classroom is the way to go. She also said classroom COVID-19 policies work because no positive cases have been linked to in-person instruction.

Three hundred students have been referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for violating COVID-19 policies, Blank noted, and 12 students are being reviewed for an emergency suspension.

UW- Madison officials do not anticipate a financial emergency and will be considering an extension date for full tuition refunds.

ORIGINAL POST: The University of Wisconsin-Madison is thinking about eliminating spring break next semester to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The university’s Faculty Senate is expected to vote on revising the 2021 spring calendar at a meeting Monday.

Officials say dropping spring break would discourage students and staff from traveling long distances and bringing COVID-19 back to campus.

The proposal has classes starting on Jan. 25, a week later than currently scheduled. Spring break would be eliminated, but classes would not be held that Friday, April 2, which is Good Friday.

Classes would end April 30, the same day as the current calendar.

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