COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The University of Missouri Faculty Council voted on Thursday not to change spring break citing many complications with a proposed change to the academic calendar
Councilmen had the option to vote 'yes' for canceling week-long break and instead add in five one-day breaks throughout the spring semester.
A large majority of faculty members voiced concerns about changing the original dates because of student mental health, issues with lab schedules and the alternative option being too vague.
“There was an understanding of public health concerns and some of the understanding of the justification for doing this,” said Dennis Crouch, Associate Professor of Law and MU councilman. “But that given, we're primarily concerned with the mental health of our students, and the value of having a break at that time.”
Another concern was that it may cause issues for the MU community who have children, as the current spring break dates line up with Columbia Public Schools spring break.
Although the majority of faculty council voted no for change, councilmen also voiced concerns of students leaving campus, which could pose an increased risks of COVID-19 exposure.
Ultimately, the council said students, faculty and staff are going through a lot mentally with COVID-19 already and a break in the middle of the semester is much needed.
ABC 17 News spoke with four MU students about the different options for spring break.
All agreed with the council’s final decision.
"I think to actually give a student a full break away from school and out of the mindset five days is more necessary,” said Emma Rothweil an MU student. "I think with the long weekends, people are still going to think that they should still be doing school and are not actually taking that day to relax.”
While Christopher Williams, another MU student, believes there will be fewer students going on spring break vacations because of the pandemic.
He agrees with the council, that a week-long break is necessary to help reduce student’s stress.
“Just prolonged stress,” said Williams. “A little more burnout later in the semester, and especially with, you know, the, partly remote and partly in class it adds a little extra strain on the students.”
Another motion was discussed during the meeting, considering a late start to the spring semester to help not mess up lab schedules.
The motion suggested a 5-day break starting January 19th through January 25th.
Council discussed the motion further, however, it decided against the motion as it would not actually give the university a break when needed.
Check back for updates on this story and watch ABC 17 News at 10.