In light of continual increases and spikes in the COVID-19 case numbers in Georgia and in neighboring states in Alabama, Florida and Tennessee, David Bridges, President of ABAC, announced, “Our number one goal is to provide a great education for our students in a safe environment… We condensed the fall semester so that we will finish all classes and final exams before Thanksgiving. Now, we have a comparable schedule for the spring term.” This announcement came in a press release to the Albany Herald.
What does this mean and how does it affect ABAC students? After a tumultuous and unorthodox ending to the spring semester in 2019, students expect a later start to the spring semester, which does not resume until January 25, 2021. As many have suspected, there will be no spring break. In years prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, this break generally fell during the third week in March.
Many ABAC students are left frustrated at this verdict. No official statements have been released by the University System of Georgia, an umbrella organization that ABAC falls under, regarding mandatory spring break 2021 cancellations. However, due to rising COVID numbers, several universities across the state, such as University of Georgia, University of North Georgia, Georgia College and State University, and Fort Valley State University, have elected to cancel spring break for their students.
While UGA has cancelled their traditional spring break, originally scheduled for March 8-12, they are offering some reprieve for students by adding “instructional breaks” February 17, March 12, and April 8, three, one day breaks, from classes. The campus will remain open.
On the other hand, universities like Georgia Highlands College, Georgia Southern University, and University of West Georgia plan to proceed with the traditional spring break holiday. With no official statements side regarding where the decision was made, this could indicate the decision is left up to each individual institution.
Students across campus have voiced their opinions on this matter and argued about the mental and emotional impact a semester without breaks can have on students.
Faculty, advisors and staff offer their thoughts and opinions on the matter. Many empathize with disgruntled students, and even share in the students’ disappointment at the situation as whole, but indicate that they ultimately support the decision for the safety of students and faculty.
Many students via social media platforms state that fall has been “the worst semester ever” or that having “heavier workloads in previous semesters this semester has been the most stressful,” with the spring semester not looking any more promising than the fall due to the lack of breaks throughout the semester.
Forestry major and first semester sophomore, Samuel Bennet, shared that he is especially frustrated with the cancellation of spring break as he had plans to visit family out West.
Even with rising numbers, Bennet stated that he would have continued with his plans had the break not been cancelled. Bennet also voiced his disgruntled opinions regarding the governing body of ABAC and the decision as a whole, explaining that even with a condensed semester, not having a break makes it very difficult to push through.
Elaborating further, he questions the efficacy of cancelling spring break when traveling during the weekends is prevalent among students living on ABAC campus.
For more information regarding the updates from the University System of Georgia, and ABAC COVID-19 information and updates please visit: