Campus, News

Students ‘take advantage’ of CSULB’s second spring break affected by COVID-19

As many universities have decided to cancel their spring break to discourage travel, Long Beach State students have embarked on their second spring recess since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to NPR, about 60% of colleges have canceled their spring break this year “likely to curb travel away from campus and ultimately keep coronavirus cases down,” causing schools to take their own approaches in reducing the spread.

UC Davis has offered students a $75 grant to stay on campus for the week, and San Diego State University has turned its traditional nine-day recess into four “rest and recovery days” scattered throughout the spring semester.

However, CSULB decided to keep its week-long break to please students and faculty alike, according to Jessica Pandya, chair of the College of Education for Academic Senate.

“I think the risks we thought people were trying to address by canceling spring break weren’t risks that we faced,” Pandya said. “The week off is more restful than the wellness days.”

Pandya, who is also a professor of liberal studies and teacher education, said the university wanted to accommodate students and faculty who “already have plans or had plans for vacation” and felt concerned that the scattered “wellness days” wouldn’t give individuals enough time off.

“I think we were all afraid that, you know, you have a day off, like a random Tuesday, but what you’re going to do is fill it up with all the assignments,” Pandya said. “[It] just seems more stressful than one week off.”

Second-year psychology major Yatzari Acevedo said she had planned to visit her uncle in Washington this spring but had to cancel her trip due to travel restrictions. An avid hiker, Acevedo said she was also hoping for the chance to see trails out of state.

“Because I have to be careful with my family, I was not able to travel,” Acevedo said. “There are these trails where you can see like hundreds of deer or [other] animals, so it’s much better than California hiking.”

Instead, Acevedo said, she plans to visit Crystal Cove in Laguna Beach later this week for a change of scenery after already hiking at Hillcrest Park in Fullerton and Peters Canyon in Tustin.

“I am on a calorie deficit, so I’m down almost 10 pounds, so that’s why I’m like ‘I need to go out and exercise,'” Acevedo said. “Today I burnt 1,200 calories, so I am going to continue beyond my calorie deficient and not eat out.”

During her time off from school, Acevedo has been catching up on course work and working shifts at Home Depot to help support her family, which she said has been more stressful than usual.

“Since the start of the pandemic, my dad has not had the same hours at work,” Acevedo said. “I’ve been a little more stressed out because I have to work a bit more.”

Jose Raya Perez, a second-year student double majoring in business administration and operations and supply chain management, also plans to catch up on school work and spend time with friends.

“I’m going to try to get my mind off of things, go play video games like Rainbow Six Siege, go out with my friends and watch movies,” Perez said. “Some of the things I haven’t been able to do with school and work.”

Perez said he normally would use this time to go hiking or visit the beach with friends, though he feels that the coronavirus pandemic gives him a chance to “take advantage” of earning more units with online learning.

During the break, he will be taking classes at Long Beach City College to work toward receiving an associate’s degree in electrical technology.

“Try to get as much knowledge, go get as many degrees as possible because it is at the tip of your fingers,” Perez said. “All you have to do is roll out of bed, log onto your computer and go to class.”

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