URI cancels spring break due to ‘uncertainty created by COVID-19’

School Updates

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) ─ With students’ health and safety in mind, the Faculty Senate at the University of Rhode Island (URI) voted to eliminate this year’s spring break.

Without spring break, the university said spring classes will end one week early and there will be an additional reading day during the final exam period.

Spring break was supposed to take place March 22-28 next year, but the university’s academic calendar has been updated to reflect that classes will be held that week.

URI student Rose Flaherty said she’s disappointed in the decision, but understands the reasoning behind it.

“It does make sense, but I also want a break,” she said.

The elimination of spring break has not changed when final grades will be due or when both graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies will be held.

The university said the Faculty Senate’s decision was influenced by “the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 outbreaks across the United States and, in particular, on college campuses, and the need to prepare for the likely persistence of existing outbreaks and potential for a new wave of infections.”

URI student Liam Creely said he understands the decision, but wishes the university had told them sooner.

“The fact that the decision was made over a week ago and we’re finding out through meme pages on Instagram doesn’t sit right with a lot of people,” Creely said.

So far this year, three Greek houses, two sororities and one fraternity, have been ordered to quarantine after students living there tested positive.

URI, which keeps track of its COVID-19 cases through an online dashboard, has reported that since Jan. 22, 110 people have tested positive for the virus, half of which were discovered this past week. The university’s current positivity rate is 3%.

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