Triad college students mixed on modified spring break plans

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Spring break is going to look different this year for college students. Most university leaders have changed the traditional schedule in an effort to keep students on campus and coronavirus cases down. Some have even canceled it altogether.

“I miss being able to like go places,” said Donovan Suitte, a student at NC A&T State University.

For Aggies like Suitte there’s no spring break this year. Administrators told FOX8 the winter break was extended to make up the difference in time off. It’s in an effort to keep traveling out of the state to a minimum.

“Around this time people want to go on vacations,” said Shayarah Johnson, another student at NC A&T State University.

NC A&T junior Kenneth Jones agrees with the administration’s decision.

“I don’t feel like that’s really a bad thing,” he said. “Just trying to be safe.”

At UNC Greensboro, students normally get a weeklong spring break, but not this year. Classes are canceled for one day in early March and another in early April dedicated to health and wellness.

“I think it’s really important that we do stay on campus so that people don’t leave and bring COVID back to campus,” said Allie Appel, a student at UNCG. “That would endanger the college population even more.”

UNCG junior Sky Kihuwa-Mani told FOX8 a longer break is needed than only one day.

“Administration had made a step in the right direction giving us a mental health day, but I don’t know if it’s enough,” Kihuwa-Mani said.

He said students like himself have faced more pressure with online learning.

“I think it’s difficult to find a balance between your work and your life,” Kihuwa-Mani said. “I think most students feel a pressure to be working all the time because work doesn’t really leave them. It’s all in the same space where you live and work and eat.”

In a news conference on Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper said people shouldn’t let their guard down ahead of spring break.

“We’ve seen this virus spread when people gather together in informal settings and in extended family settings,” Cooper said. “We are always concerned when we have periods where that often happens.”

Students at both NC A&T State University and UNC Greensboro told FOX8 they’ll make the most of their time away from class.

“Just really resting and trying not to do any work,” Jones said.

Johnson is hopeful for a spring break next year.

“We really don’t want this to be a forever thing,” Johnson said.

Several public school districts around the Piedmont Triad including Guilford County Schools, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Alamance-Burlington School System and Randolph County Schools remain on a traditional weeklong spring break for students. School leaders ask once the break is over if students or parents experience COVID-19 like symptoms to quarantine and alert school officials.

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