President Houston Davis announced, on Oct. 21, that the university plans to proceed with Spring Break 2021 as normal.

Over the span of a few weeks, several health professionals, Student Government Association, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate were each spoken with and included in the decision making process.

“Having so much feedback allowed us to determine what we needed to have in place in order to proceed with health and safety at the center of our decision,” UCA’s Provost and Executive Vice President Patricia Poulter said. “It was a complex and important decision, so it required deep consideration of all options.”

Since the return to campus in August, tremendous efforts have been made in prioritizing the safety of students and staff. The return to campus following Spring Break 2021 will be no different.

The university testing protocol and its Conway Regional Health System partnership has reported 263 total positive COVID-19 tests since March. On Oct. 28, the university reported that there are 28 active positive cases.

“I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished together this year, and I continue to be inspired daily by your ongoing commitment to your education, your health and the health of our campus community,” Davis said.

Extreme safety precautions have been implemented all over campus since the return to the university in August. These tremendous efforts have been made to ensure that the safety of UCA’s students and staff reign priority.

President Davis and Executive Vice President Poulter suggest the return to campus following Spring Break 2021 will be no different.

“I cannot thank you enough for your patience, resilience and commitment to health and success as we have navigated this academic year together,” Davis said.

Universities all over the world have altered teaching methods, modified academic calendars and redesigned college life to fit the guidelines for safety since COVID-19’s arrival in March.

The uncharted territory this semester has presented both the students and the staff of UCA with levels of stress and fatigue unlike any semester before.

“We know the past seven months have been challenging for our entire campus community,” Davis said. “Maintaining our original spring break dates will allow us to counteract some of the overload and fatigue many are experiencing this fall.”

This recent decision is one that will hopefully provide students and staff with a slight sense of normalcy.

“Part of looking out for the health of our UCA community includes mental health. If we could safely have a spring break, we felt it was important to do so,” Poulter said.

As for what students will do and where they will go during the allotted spring break, the university has left that freedom to them.

“We owe it to one another to make wise choices to protect one another,” Poulter said.

For more information on campus testing/tracing and modifications made to the academic calendar, please visit https://uca.edu/coronavirus/.

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