Mercy College Cancels Spring Break


Mercy College announced on Nov. 3 that it will be canceling Spring Break for the Spring 2021 semester due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in New York.

The second wave of the virus has proven to be just as dangerous as the first wave so as a precautionary measure says experts, so the college has decided to take this drastic step for the safety of their students and teachers.

The thought process is to deter traveling and create a surge of COVID-19 cases, or prevent a lot of students from having to quarantine.

“As we considered our options, it became clear to us that if we wanted to have Spring Break that we would be putting our faculty, our staff and students at risk and that was the main reason why we decided to cancel it,” Jose Herrera, PH.D., Provost at Mercy College said in an email to students. “We heard the students, and we know that many of them wanted to continue with Spring Break but I think we made the right decision because there are so many things going on right now that at the time was not going on when we made the decision but in hindsight given all the increases that are happening in the infection rates right now, I think that was the safe decision to make.”

Herrera further elaborated that he empathizes with students who may be disappointed because of the cancellation announcement but it was done with their best interest in mind.

“I know that they are disappointed. I would be too if I were a student. Normally a week off would be a welcomed event but I hope that they realize that this is for their safety and the safety of others here. There are a lot of institutions who are doing the very same thing so we are not doing something that is out of line with what experts at the CDC have been telling us, which is do not have your students leave to travel to other geographic parts of the country for extended periods of time,”  Herrera explained.

“I hope that they understand that we are not doing this for any vanity or benefit to us, but we are really doing it for the good of many, and I think once they understand that, most students will buy into the notion of keeping everyone safe.”

Mercy College is exploring the concept of “MAV days” which is what the College considers to be an alternative to Spring Break. These are days that will be sprinkled across the semester and allow students to have a respite and mental break from their academic schedule. However, this decision as it stands is a provisional one.

Julian Sykes, a student at Mercy College, is conflicted with the decision to cancel Spring Break. He admits he never tracked for Spring Break  but used the time as a welcome break from tests. 

“I always figured that it was a time for many students to relax because right before then we are doing midterms and we are loaded with a lot of assignments. When we return, it is time for finals so spring break is that peaceful period in between,” Sykes said.

He adds that since  the pandemic, students have had a long break. “I have not been in school since March, and then I got back into school in September when the fall semester started so at that point is spring break essential after such a long break of school especially if the majority of us are doing classes online, so it really depends.”

Yenixa Galvez, a student at Mercy College, expresses her disappointment at the cancellation of Spring Break.

“School can be stressful at the beginning of the semester and as time progresses the workload increases, so I rely on it for my self-time in which I choose to do something equally valuable with my time. Whether it is spending time with my family, traveling, or taking up a new skill,” Galvez said.

“It also helps with my anxiety, in which I am not worried that I don’t have time for myself or for my loved ones. There should be a balance between school and life which I do not think will occur because it is being revoked. The spring semester can be very daunting at times and the students along with the professors and staff deserve time outside of school.”