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Virginia Tech leaders say health and safety considerations drove spring decisions, online petition grows

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:21 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - At Virginia Tech, days after the school unveiled spring semester plans, an online petition emerged.

Over 3,000 people signed the petition to try and reinstate spring break.

The university held a town hall Thursday to answer concerns the campus community had about next semester. School officials said the decision was not easy and they do understand the need for a break.

Jack Hansen and Joshua Loucks are freshmen at Virginia Tech, and they had two thoughts about next semester’s plans.

“I was kind of disappointed; I knew I wouldn’t be able to go home. I live in upstate New York, so it is kind of a trip,” said Loucks.

“I was looking forward to being able to, like, unplug for a while and relax. It’s just not what they were expecting,” said Hansen.

They aren’t alone. There are over 3,000 signatures opposed to having five days throughout the semester to take the place of a week-long spring break.

“I thought it was a little strange at first, but I mean, like a lot of students, I was expecting a full week-long spring break,”said Hansen.

Hanson said going into his first year of college, he knew they had to have an open mind amid the pandemic, so the news about spring break was disappointing.

“It is a little more stressful because I am expecting to get a lot of work the whole time,” said Hansen.

During a university town hall, school officials say they understand the need for a break, but dividing up spring break was not an easy decision.

“We struggled over this decision. And really, I say the word struggle because we know that the things we are asking in this time of COVID-19 are hard for people. There is no doubt about that,” said Frank Shushok, the vice president for student affairs.

University officials said they made the decision to divide spring break to discourage travel to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

To hear the entire town hall discussion, visit Virginia Tech’s website.

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