VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Many universities decided to cancel Spring Break this year for fear of COVID-19 outbreaks on campus.
Valdosta State University (VSU) is one of them.
Students said they were not happy when they first heard but eventually realized it was for everyone’s best interest.
“Who would be happy but I mean, it is what it is,” said Alexis Flowers, a freshman at VSU.
Spring break may be in full effect for some universities, many students are taking trips to sunny destinations.
Flowers said she was planning to go to Florida but then heard the news.
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Robert Smith said the university feared students would go to destinations of high contagion and bring back COVID-19 to campus and the community.
“You only need look at the video of Miami Beach, other Florida beaches to see this was the right decision. It’s clear to us too the right decision was also to provide five wellness days spread throughout the semester so students would have these mini-breaks,” said Smith.
Smith said they recognize the importance of downtime for students and faculty.
Five Wellness Days replaced the week-long break.
Not everyone agrees with the university’s decision.
“I was upset because spring break is kind of like a full nine days not going to school, relaxing. It’s kind of that mental health prep day that everyone needs, so when I found out we weren’t getting one, we were just kind of upsetting. Like how are we going to survive the semester without spring break,” said TJ Weaver, junior at VSU.
Weaver said he was planning on spending time at the beach with friends.
He said eventually, he understood it was for everyone’s best interest.
Weaver said the wellness days are appreciated and very needed.
Student Government Association President Melissa Wolfe played an important role in the decision.
She was hearing from both sides, students, faculty staff and university leaders.
Wolfe said she heard a lot of complaints but the majority of students understood the severity of what would happen.
“What we see from other institutions, not just in our state, all over this area because it is a spring break area, are concerning to me as a student. They are concerning to me as someone who, in a normal year would be in those places and if we didn’t have these policies in place I would be in those same beaches most likely. So I appreciate that the university and everybody took my health and my safety into consideration,” said Wolfe.
VSU’s COVID-19 tracker currently reports six cases in the last ten days.