SU announces Spring 2021 calendar with a delayed start, no spring break

SU adjusts 2021 calendar, drops spring break

The traditional March week off is eliminated in order to minimize COVID risk and continue residential instruction.
Published: September 24, 2020
On August 24, 2020, the first day of classes at Syracuse University, a sign reminds students to wear their masks at all times.

COVID-19’s impact on Syracuse University will carry over to 2021 as the spring semester will start a week later and there will be no spring break in March.

Chancellor Kent Syverud announced in a schoolwide email Wednesday that as students, faculty and staff “remain vigilant” to continue residential learning and to remain on campus this semester, work is “underway” to refine the spring 2021 semester in spite of COVID-19.

Residential classes are set to begin on Jan. 25 — nearly a week after the original Jan. 19 start date — and conclude on April 30.  May 1-2 will be reading days and final exams will be conducted May 3-6.

“The revised calendar starts one week later than usual but eliminates spring break in order to minimize travel-related COVID-19 risks and to avoid quarantine-related complications,” Syverud’s email read.

College and school convocations would be scheduled for May 7-8 while the annual Commencement would take place on May 9. The format for the end-of-year celebrations — and possible rescheduling of a 2020 class Commencement — would be dictated by state and local health guidelines.

Since the start of the semester, there has been an uptick in active COVID-19 cases and the number of students in quarantine. Recently, the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority was put in quarantine after two of their members tested positive. Students in campus dorms have also tested positive for COVID-19 over the past weeks. Three weeks ago, SU detected traces of COVID in the wastewater at Ernie Davis Hall. On Tuesday, three positive cases of COVID were found in Day Hall. The entire 8th floor was tested but no additional positive cases were found.

As of Wednesday, the SU Covid-19 Dashboard revealed two new student cases for a total of 27 locally and three more outside of Central New York. Also, two new SU employee cases were reported. There are now 127 students in quarantine, an increase of 22 since last week.

Upstate schools such as SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oswego have also adopted a Jan. 25 start date, according to their academic calendars.

Last spring after the outbreak began, SU canceled residential classes, forcing students to conclude their spring semester through online classes. With no online classes, the traditional end of the year events such as Commencement, Mayfest, and Block Party were canceled to minimize the spread of COVID. Furthermore, the SU community continued to protest and show solidarity to the racial incidents on campus through #NotAgainSU. Organizers and SU administration met numerous times throughout the semester to discuss the demands made by the student body. After 31 days, #NotAgainSU ended their occupation after organizers secured a meeting with university officials.