Bring Back Spring Break 2021
This petition had 573 supporters
Spring Break is a fundamental part of every university student’s “college experience.” While many consider this a time to enjoy recreational activities, numerous others simply appreciate the much-needed rest from the rigors of the academic environment.
Considering the potential impact of COVID-19 on Calvin University’s campus, Calvin authority has decided to eliminate both Spring Break as well as Easter Break from the Spring 2021 schedule. This action, while admirable in intent, will result in numerous consequences to the Calvin community.
The Spring 2021 semester is currently scheduled from February 2 to May 13, 2021. Between then, Calvin is allowing three one-day breaks for academic advising as well as one “Study” day before the final examination period begins the next day. Four days off for an entire semester composing of approximately 16 weeks of classes is not adequate for both staff and students for a plethora of reasons.
First, the lack of break will severely affect motivation levels for students. Beginning a semester with no near end goal in sight is both overwhelming and daunting. As a result, motivation will decline, and in turn, so will academic performances throughout campus. Those who are less motivated strive for lower-set goals, and therefore will demonstrate increased propensity for procrastination, forgetfulness, and overall lack of commitment.
Another issue surrounding this is that advising “breaks” are not inherently breaks. This is a time of stress for many students, in that they are figuring out which classes to take, whether or not they will fit into their schedules, and, most importantly, if they can even get registered into the class itself. The one reading-recess break issued is one day before examinations begin, and therefore must be devoted to yet more stressful schoolwork.
Perhaps the most important matter at hand is the effect on mental and physical health that will result from largely no breaks in a 16-week straight period of pure academics. Eliminating students’ primary source of determination and mental respite will compound stress levels astronomically. Stress has been scientifically proven to induce multiple negative ramifications on the human body and psyche, such as depression, weakened immune systems, and other serious physiological effects. (Pietrangelo & Legg, 2020) Weakened immune systems can result in increased SARS-CoV-2 transmission, which is in direct opposition to the basis of this decision. Additionally, depression has already been a ubiquitous issue amongst college students, and further exacerbation of this can result in extraordinarily negative outcomes, such as sleep changes, lack of energy, suicidal or homicidal ideations, and so forth.
Beyond what has already been stated, these effects will be especially prevalent in the early springtime when the glooms of winter’s notorious Seasonal Affective Disorder are still present to a great extent.
Requesting that the community just receives Spring Break back is implausible. It is agreed upon that eliminating travel is an important course of action to combat the virus. Therefore, we are at minimum asking for a one-week interval wherein classes are not held, and quarantine is mandated to all Calvin University community members. This will alleviate many, if not all, of the aforementioned consequences, as well as aid in the prevention of COVID-19 transference.
Pietrangelo, A. (2020, March 29). The Effects of Stress on Your Body (959967709 747067703 T. J. Legg Ph.D, Medically reviewed.). Retrieved October 02, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/effects-on-body
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