University Of Arizona Student Petitioning To Have Spring Break 2021 Reinstated

Published: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 9:32pm
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2020 - 9:04am
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Daemien Jenkins
Daemien Jenkins, a University of Arizona junior, has launched a petition asking the university to reinstate spring break 2021.

A University of Arizona student has launched a petition asking the school to reinstate its traditional spring break. Last week, the university announced it was cancelling the break to reduce travel by faculty, students and staff — all part of an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Instead of a normal week off of classes, the university has scheduled five "reading days" spread out throughout the semester. 

The petition’s organizer, Daemien Jenkins, said this doesn’t give him and other students enough time to recharge, catch up on sleep and assignments. 

“It’s going to bring the overall morale of the students down. They’re not going to be as inclined to perform to their best ability because they’re not given that stress relief period," said Jenkins, a junior studying biomedical sciences. He's taking 18 credits this semester while working two part-time jobs. The petition had about 1,500 as of Thursday afternoon. 

Jenkins is also concerned that he won't be able to get the full five reading days off. University Provost Liesl Folks said in an email to the campus community that a limited number of classes (primarily lab sections) will need to meet on reading days to stay in sync across all sections. Science majors tend to have classes with labs, Jenkins said. 

Folks explained the reasoning behind the decision in a Monday press conference. She said travel is one of the primarily ways the virus is spread, so by canceling spring break, travel opportunities are reduced. 

But Jenkins thinks a better idea would have been to implement a mandatory two-week quarantine for all students following spring break. 

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