U moves spring break to April at Twin Cities campus because of COVID-19

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The University of Minnesota has modified spring break at its five campuses because of the COVID-19 pandemic, moving the weeklong vacation from March to April for Twin Cities and Rochester students and spreading the days across the semester for those attending Duluth, Morris and Crookston.

Additionally, U leaders say social distancing and masking requirements will remain in place this spring and professors will again be given the choice of teaching online or in person.

“Each campus engaged in extensive consultation with their respective communities and governance structures,” U Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson said of the spring decisions during a Board of Regents meeting Thursday.

Students and faculty at the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses “strongly preferred” keeping the five-day break, Croson said. Spring break at the two campuses will now be held April 5-9. It will coincide with the spring breaks of Minneapolis’ and St. Paul’s public school districts.

At the university’s Morris campus, spring break days will be broken up and spread across the semester. Crookston’s spring break will be replaced with one midweek study day plus two extra study days to be taken between the last day of classes and the week of final exams. Duluth students will take the Monday and Tuesday of their spring break week off, with the remaining three days to be used as study days between the end of spring instruction and exams week.

The spring break delay at the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses will allow for more instruction to be completed before students take time off. There is concern that students may travel away during the vacation period and potentially carry COVID-19 back to campus.

In the coming months, administrators will decide whether to resume some in-person instruction after spring break or fully pivot to distance learning,


SpaceX may have Dragon spaceships in orbit without a break for a year

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SpaceX is preparing to launch four NASA astronauts on its Crew Dragon spaceship this Halloween — the first of six regular crewed missions the space agency has contracted from the rocket company founded by Elon Musk. (The one that concluded in August was considered a demonstration.)

That’s on top of the cargo resupply missions that SpaceX will regularly launch to the International Space Station for NASA. The company has been sending a spaceship designed to carry supplies, called Cargo Dragon, to the orbiting laboratory since 2012. That vehicle has made more than 20 trips to the station and back.

Combined, the two types of Dragon spacecraft are scheduled to launch into space seven times over the next 14 months, leading to an unprecedented situation for SpaceX.

Spacex crew dragon launch

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship launches from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with a “Starman” dummy aboard on March 2, 2019.


“Every time there’s a Dragon launch, there’ll be two Dragons in space,” Benji Reed, director of crew mission management at SpaceX, said at a press conference earlier this month. 

That’s because each of the crewed SpaceX missions should overlap for a little while. The company’s next astronaut mission, called Crew 1, launches at the end of the month, then the next one, Crew-2, is scheduled to launch in late March 2021. But the Crew-1 astronauts don’t plan to leave the space station until April. The same thing should happen with the following mission, Crew-3: It’s expected to launch in September 2021, so should tag up with Crew-2 in orbit.

The Crew-1 crew includes NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Mike Hopkins, and Victor Glover, as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Hopkins is to be the mission commander, Glover the pilot, and Walker and Noguchi mission specialists.

soichi noguchi victor glover shannon walker nasa jaxa astronauts spacex spacesuits portrait crew 1 dragon spaceship mission KSC 20200924 PH SPX01_0009_orig

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts participate


Kent State University pushes spring break to April, will go remote for rest of spring semester

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KENT, Ohio — Kent State University has moved its 2021 spring break from March 29-April 4 to April 12-18, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Afterward, all classes will be remote, through final exams May 6-12. The idea is to keep students and staff safe after a week of travel.

The school notified students and faculty Thursday, not long after Ohio State canceled its spring break. Kent State had 31 new COVID-19 cases the week of Sept. 20, according to its coronavirus dashboard. The school has had 125 total cases since July 7.

Manfred van Dulmen, interim associate provost for academic affairs, said in a news release that information about dining plans and residence halls for the spring semester will be coming soon.

“We wanted to make sure that students would have a break,” Van Dulmen told cleveland.com. “We know that a lot of students across the country really struggle with stress, anxiety, and it’s a very difficult time. So we wanted to figure out whether we could find a way to still give students a spring break, but not have students travel back and forth.”

Kent State is managing its spring break similar to how it’s handling Thanksgiving for the fall semester. The university will have no classes the week of the holiday and then go fully remote the rest of the semester. Van Dulmen thinks students will appreciate how the university is handling spring break.

The university’s spring course schedule will be available Oct. 5, and a mix of in-person and virtual classes will be offered. Registration begins Oct. 21.

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University cancels spring break after 1,000-person party

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Students at Florida State University won’t have a spring break holiday in 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis. 

University officials on Wednesday announced changes to the spring 2021 calendar that includes the cancellation of the weeklong holiday in an effort to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

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“The university continues its efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and we believe these adjustments will reduce the potential for members of the campus community to return to Tallahassee with the virus after traveling during spring break,” Sally McRorie, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at FSU, said in a statement Wednesday. 

The move by administrators comes after a party of more than 1,000 people outside a student apartment complex about 2 miles from the university was broken up by Tallahassee police over the weekend. 

More than 1,400 Florida State University students and 31 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and the school has a positivity rate of 7.61 percent, according to the university

University officials have called on students to practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings and wear face coverings. 

Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) proposed a “bill of rights” for college students in response to school administrators punishing students for having parties during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

“I understand that universities are trying to do the right thing,” DeSantis said during a briefing in Tallahassee. “But I personally think it’s dramatically draconian that a student could get potentially expelled for going to a party. That’s what college kids do.”

McRorie also said the spring semester will still start Jan. 6, however, the first three days of classes will be


Police Break Up Party of More Than 1,000 People Near Florida State University

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Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Florida State University

Police officers broke up a party with more than 1,000 attendees in an off-campus apartment complex near Florida State University, according to a statement from the Tallahassee Police Department.

The 1,000-plus attendees were crowded outside the complex, with around 700 vehicles blocking the travel lanes. The officers were “able to safely disperse the crowd” with the help of a Leon County Sheriff’s Office helicopter.

The party was one of several large gatherings that the Tallahassee police had to attend to over the weekend, they said.

Florida State University (FSU) has one of the highest COVID-19 caseloads among U.S. universities. Since the school reopened and started testing students and staff on Aug. 2, there have been nearly 1,500 positive cases, a positivity rate of 7.61 percent, according to FSU.

RELATED: Tracking Coronavirus Cases at Colleges & Universities Across the Country

FSU President John Thrasher said in a letter to students on Sept. 18 that the school would punish anyone who is not following public health guidelines, and those set by the university.

“Students who endanger the community with actions such as hosting or attending a large party or gathering will be subject to suspension,” Thrasher said. “The FSU Police Department, the Tallahassee Police Department and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office are partnering to monitor bars, restaurants and off-campus residences where the Centers for Disease Control and university guidelines are not being followed.”

RELATED VIDEO: Mich. Student Complains About COVID-19 Quarantine Apartment, Challenges School President to Try It

Mich. Student Complains About COVID-19 Quarantine Apartment, Challenges School President to Try It

This University of Michigan student is challenging the university president to stay in the COVID-19 quarantine apartments

The state of Florida’s COVID-19 restrictions have since shifted, with Gov. Ron DeSantis deciding to

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