St. Edward’s administration makes substantial changes to spring semester due to COVID-19

St.+Edward%27s+has+implemented+multiple+stickers+in+elevators+and+buildings+to+promote+social+distancing.+Other+measures+like+required+face+masks%2C+have+been+set+in+place.

Christine Sanchez / Hilltop Views

St. Edward’s has implemented multiple stickers in elevators and buildings to promote social distancing. Other measures like required face masks, have been set in place.

On Sept. 28, St. Edward’s University released their official changes to the spring semester to the student body in an email sent by the Student Success Center.

One of the biggest changes implemented is the elimination of spring break. It will instead be replaced by three wellness days occurring on Feb. 11, Mar. 10 and April 30, 2021. 

“We simply know that consecutive days off results in a health and safety risk for our campus community, in which we will see increased incidence and prevalence of the virus on campus,” provost and vice president for academic affairs Andrew Prall says in a new video released to students. “So by eliminating that break, we think that’s our best way to manage the risk that COVID poses.”

Student responses to the new changes have been mixed, with some not understanding the need for the elimination.

“If most classes will be online, then I’m not sure why [administration] decided to cancel spring break. However, it probably is the safest [and] least risky decision to make, and our extra week gets added onto winter break,” senior marketing major Alek Nybro says.

Another change is the shortening of the Easter holiday. What has usually been a nearly week-long break has been changed to only having Good Friday off, as well as classes occurring after 4 p.m. being cancelled for Holy Thursday. Classes will resume normally on April 5.

Lastly, both spring course registration and the start of the spring semester have been pushed to a later date than usual. Both dates will happen a week later than usual, with spring course registration beginning on Nov. 11 and the spring semester starting on Jan. 19, 2021.

Similar to the fall semester, the majority of spring semester classes will be conducted virtually, with a few yet to be determined classes occurring in person. For those who are interested in living on campus for the spring semester, housing registration opens on Oct. 1.

“I was hoping [for in person instruction], but at the same time, it doesn’t seem very realistic,” freshman Olivia Odell says. “I think realistically, it’s not an ideal choice for everyone’s safety. [St. Edward’s] made really good choices so far, considering everything that’s happening, and I don’t think that I’d change anything they’re doing.”

To give students enough time to decide their living situation, information regarding the status of  online and in-person classes will be finalized around mid-October. Housing assignments will be finished by Dec. 18.

For more updates, students can visit Healthy Hilltop located on the St. Edward’s website.