As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University is planning ahead.
OSU announced Tuesday that the 2021 spring semester will start a week later on Jan. 19 and that spring break is canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.
In the statement, Hargis stated the decision was made “in order to avoid another possible surge in COVID cases due to student travel. This approach — which is also being announced today at the University of Oklahoma — will allow us to finish the semester on schedule.”
Hargis said the university’s goal is to ensure that students have a safe academic environment next semester and to have the best chance of finishing the school year in person.
“In the weeks and months ahead, we must remain mindful of the responsibility each of us has to our greater campus community to keep everyone well and safe,” Hargis said. “My highest priority is the health and well-being of our campus community while at the same time preserving our academic mission and providing our students with what they need to secure a quality education.
“I appreciate the sacrifices you have made to keep our community safe and look forward to another successful semester at Oklahoma State University.”
Some students, however, find the decision confusing.
“I understand where they are coming from and I am glad they care about my safety,” said OSU junior Kamryn Proctor. “However, what is the difference in everyone going home and on trips for Christmas Break? I am not all for it nor against it. I'm just trying to understand how bringing people back after a six week break is different than a one week break. I don’t need spring break to go somewhere, but it is nice to have a break especially in a time like this.”