On Oct. 13, Simpson College revealed the academic calendar for Spring 2020 that contained no spring break.
“You will see we have condensed the schedule, done away with our traditional spring break, but included a few longer weekends to break the semester up a bit,” said Senior Vice President & Academic Dean John Woell in an email.
This led to some students being worried about their mental health for the next semester.
“I completely understand why [they] chose to cancel it,” said Tatum Clayburn, a student at Simpson. “Just because we understand why it was canceled doesn’t mean we have to like it. I think the administration could have found a better way to give students a break.”
The schedule currently has students starting classes on Jan. 19. Classes will not take place on Feb. 26, April 5 for Easter and April 22 for the symposium. The last day of class is on April 26, with finals taking place on April 27-29.
Even with the additions of these three-day weekends compared to no days off during the Fall semester, students still feel that Simpson is not doing enough.
“I think Simpson made the right call in regards to COVID,” said Layne Richey, a senior at Simpson. “But [Simpson] needs to take a more active role in helping its students’ mental health. Adding a few three day weekends will not be enough to alleviate the mental stress college often provides.”
Clayburn has already struggled with her mental health during the Fall semester and worries about how it will be affected during the Spring semester.
“I know personally, I have never felt so unmotivated. Professors are not giving students enough time to process information,” Clayburn said. “I have not been in a healthy mental state all year. I doubt anyone has. I just wish the administration would talk to students on a more open and honest level.”
According to the email Woell sent out, the Cabinet and the Crisis Management Team considered mental health and campus well-being when making the schedule for the Spring semester.
So far, May Term has remained unchanged, but Simpson will be making its final decisions about study abroad options and plans in the upcoming days.