Michelle Zhiqing Yang / Sun Staff Photographer

Cornell University has announced a spring break plan that gives students only two days off.

November 17, 2020

University Announces Spring Calendar, Doesn’t Include a Spring Break

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Cornell has not yet released much information regarding what the spring semester is going to look like. But one thing it’s done now is say when the semester will take place.

The University released its academic calendar, showing when the semester will begin, end and — most notably — what days students will get off in between. March will not see a week-long spring break that typically happens. Instead, it will be replaced by a two-day break in April.

According to the academic calendar, two breaks — each labeled a “Wellness Day” — will be on March 9 and March 10 and then April 23 and April 26 — a Friday and a Monday.

The semester will start Feb. 9, as was established the summer when the University announced its plan for the fall semester. Classes will end May 14, followed by a study period until May 18 and then final exams until May 25.

Last year, Cornell was set to begin its semester more than two weeks earlier than this year on Jan. 21, and planned to end nine days earlier on May 5. Cornell scheduled a typical February break and spring break. February break happened as planned, giving students Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 off. 

Originally, the University scheduled its plan to leave campus due to COVID-19 around spring break. In her first message saying that the spring 2020 semester will end virtually, President Martha Pollack said in-person classes will resume until spring break and then move to an online format. Three days later, Pollack rescinded that statement, instead saying in-person classes would end immediately on March 13.

The changes to the spring semester round out an academic calendar completely revamped due to COVID-19. Fall break — which is typically a four-day weekend — instead consisted of one Wednesday off, causing some students to add it to the list of factors to burnout during the atypical fall semester.

Students are currently experiencing the renovations done around Thanksgiving break. Usually a five-day weekend between classes, November now consists of a newly-developed semifinals period before Thanksgiving break. After the break’s conclusion, students are recommended to stay home for the remainder of the semester.
Cornell will not be the only school to cancel spring break this upcoming semester. Syracuse University canceled its spring break when announcing part of its spring plans in September, and New York University lists two days called “Spring Break” on its academic calendar, although each only consists of one day off, showing a break from a traditional week-long reprieve from classes.