By Lauren Wolters
As the University of Findlay spent the summer contemplating a more COVID-friendly environment for the fall semester it made the tough decision to cancel the annual mid–fall Recess for the 2020 academic year. Nearby Ohio colleges, such as Bowling Green State University and The University of Toledo, have done the same. Similarly, The University of Findlay is among the many universities that have decided to move all courses fully online beginning immediately after Thanksgiving Break. The prime reasoning behind all these changes is to prevent any outbreaks of COVID-19.
Professor of Art History, Dr. Marie Louden-Hanes agrees with the decision to cancel the mid–fall recess this year.
“I support the decision 100% to bypass mid–fall Recess this year,” Louden-Hanes said. “Staying on campus is the best way to help contain COVID-19 and to avoid what has happened to colleagues in other colleges and universities across the state and around the country.”
Dr. Louden-Hanes is referring to the many schools who shut down soon after they opened for their fall semesters.
Many University of Findlay students and faculty cherish the rest and recuperation the mid–fall recess offers. However, students like freshman Nik Spots are happy to sacrifice the break if it means the campus can stay healthy and remain in-person for the remainder of the academic year.
“For me personally, I don’t mind fall break being cancelled,” Spots said. “I was very successful in my classes when they went fully online in high school. I can understand how some students would be concerned because there are students that struggle in online classes. I had a couple of friends last year whose grades dropped substantially because their classes were online.”
“It’s a good idea in thought, but when you think about it, so many people have been going home over the weekends or hanging out with big groups of friends and coming right back to school,” said freshman Rylee Roberts.
She is uncertain the cancellation and soon-to-come online courses will work as intended.
“There is no point of us going online and staying home especially if [the] majority of kids do not do well online,” said Roberts.
She believes that the cancellation of fall break to prevent outbreaks does not consider the fact that students have been going home each weekend and coming back to school. Therefore, the university is already at a high risk for outbreaks.
Even so freshman Cassidy Baran attests that going online after Thanksgiving has its positives.
“I would have liked to take a fall break. But I support the decision because it helps us to stay at home longer during the holidays, which I’m looking forward to,” Baran said. “I’m okay with the online classes, but I will miss being in person for my hands-on classes.”
Dr. Louden-Hanes has been at the University of Findlay for nearly 30 years, and she remembers when the idea, to have a fall break, was first proposed. She was a new faculty member, and it had been at the first or second faculty meeting she attended.
“A much-loved faculty member, Dr. David Allen, sociology, took the floor and suggested we initiate a mid–fall Recess,” Dr. Louden-Hanes remembers, “It quickly gained a second and then full approval and we’ve been celebrating this autumn holiday ever since.”