Even with a mask on, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Aondover Tarhule smiles for the camera for a quick photo op. This is Tarhule’s first year as ISU’s provost.

Illinois State University students and staff have been wondering for the last few weeks if they will be having a spring break this year and if winter break will be extended.

A survey was sent out to students, faculty and staff to see if they would want their spring break canceled, kept the same or split up into long weekends.

After receiving feedback from students, faculty and staff it was decided that the 2021 spring break will still be March 6-14. The start of the spring semester will also be the same and will start on Jan. 11. 

One of the reasons why students wanted spring break to remain the same is many students believe that it is important to have spring break to maintain mental health. 

The university is still worried about study abroad students traveling during the break and that it could increase the spreading of COVID-19 in the community.

“Students go to a lot of different places during spring break like going to the beach in Florida, go to Cancun and go to March Madness,” Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Aondover Tarhule said.

With this being a concern for many, the subject of what to do for spring break was brought up and students at ISU could have gone another direction.

Other options for spring and winter break had been brought up by staff members to see if they could alleviate concerns about COVID-19.

Even with students voicing their opinions to still have a spring break, ISU has a plan to keep the spread of the virus down.

“We will have a larger testing site when students come back in January and will have more space to work with to test students and see who all could have contracted the virus,” Tarhule said.

Determining whether to have spring break was a tough choice to make. Students use that time to relax their minds before their last few months of school.

If break had been canceled, it would have taken an important time for students to relax without work or classes.

At the same time, not having spring break could have protected students and staff from getting the virus due to students not traveling during that time.

“There is not a right choice in the matter. If I cancel spring break, some will complain because it’s canceled and then if I don’t, some would complain about that too,” Tarhule said.

ALEXIS PLUMMER is a News Reporter for The Vidette. She can be contacted at amplum1@ilstu.edu  Follow her on Twitter at @Lexi1Oliver

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