Virginia Tech spring semester plans met with mixed reactions, prompting student to create petition

BLACKSBURG, Va. – With the end of the fall semester approaching, staff at Virginia Tech are laying out their plans for next semester.

The plans include scrapping a traditional spring break, which has caused mixed feelings on campus.

“The workload for the student has gone up I’d say 25-50% just on average, just because it’s an online setting with that being said, like finding time to destress,” Virginia Tech student John Frazier said.

Part of the spring plans include a spring break broken up over the course of the semester instead of a traditional week off. Frazier started a petition asking for the plans to be reconsidered which has more than 3,000 signatures.

“There are students like me who are taking 19 credit hours who were looking forward to this break to get away from classes for a little while and to get these little one day breaks, professors and doctors don’t really understand,” Frazier said.

But university leaders say the move had to be done.

“There’s no one who wanted to cancel spring break because we know how important that is,” Virginia Tech Vice President for Student Affairs Frank Shushok said.

During a town hall Thursday, Shushok said the primary concern is travel.

“We needed to do something different about spring break because travel is a key variable to controlling the spread of COVID-19,” Shushok said.

One of the largest similarities between this semester and next is students will be asked to quarantine for two weeks before returning to campus this January.

The university is also still asking students and staff to continue to wear masks when walking around campus and following social distancing guidelines.

Students will have to be tested once they return to campus. If they feel uncomfortable returning, there are other options.

“If you will let us know by December 7th, we will cancel your contract and refund your money no penalty to you,” Schushok said.

Classes are set to begin on January 19.

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