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Faculty Senate considers dropping spring break at UW-Madison

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Posted at 10:10 AM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 11:10:29-04

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Madison is thinking about eliminating spring break next semester to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The university’s Faculty Senate is expected to vote on revising the 2021 spring calendar at a meeting Monday.

Dropping spring break would discourage students and staff from traveling long distances and bringing COVID-19 back to campus, officials said.

Members of the University Committee were receptive when university leaders floating the idea last month.

“I realize the slog of of going through a full 15 week semester with no break would be challenging but given the vagaries of the pandemic, particularly in cold weather when people are indoors and the like ... I’m enthusiastically supportive,” said Provost John Karl Scholz.

The proposal has classes starting on Jan. 25, a week later than currently scheduled, the State Journal reported.

Spring break would be eliminated, but classes would not be held that Friday, April 2, which is Good Friday. Classes would end April 30, the same day as the current calendar.

The Madison and La Crosse campuses, meanwhile, have suspended in-person undergraduate instruction for two weeks, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases.

State health officials on Sunday confirmed 1,582 new cases of the coronavirus, for a total of 89,185 positive tests. One new death was reported, increasing the number of fatalities from the disease to 1,210.