University announces 10-week winter session, Feb. 3 start date for spring semester
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, September 23, 2020
The 2021 spring semester will begin Wednesday, Feb. 3 with classes ending Tuesday, May 11, University President Fr. John Jenkins announced in a Wednesday morning email. Reading days will occur May 12, 13 and 16 — Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday — with final examinations May 14, 15 and 17 through 19 — Friday, Saturday and Monday through Wednesday. Commencement weekend will be held May 22 and 23.
Classes will not be held on Good Friday, April 2, and students will be offered ways to celebrate Easter on campus, the email said.
Jenkins said the start date was pushed back due to concerns over the virus and its effects during the winter months.
“The cold temperatures of winter will not allow us to use outdoor spaces as we have so far this fall, and the winter months are also the peak for seasonal flu in this region,” he said in the email. “Consequently, … we have decided to shift the dates for the second semester of the 2020-21 academic year to lessen our time on campus during these winter months.”
The new schedule gives the University a 10-week break period.
“We are calling this break the Winter Session of the 2021 spring semester and plan to offer a variety of opportunities to students from internships to group projects to virtual language tables to online courses,” Jenkins said. “You can expect to hear more about these opportunities in the weeks ahead from the Provost’s Office.”
The email said research labs and library resources will remain open for use to faculty and graduate students.
In addition, the fee for one online class will be waived for undergraduate students enrolled full-time for the spring semester.
Jenkins said information regarding housing options during the winter will be available soon.
“We are making plans and will soon share details regarding housing options for some students during portions of the Winter Session, including some international students, student-athletes and students for whom returning home will represent significant hardships,” Jenkins said.