By Erin Brody, Staff Writer
Many college students look forward to spring break as a time to rest from classes with traveling being a typical mode of relaxation and retreat. Whether it is a day trip to a new town or staying in a new state, many students take the break as a chance to build new experiences. However, with Saint Vincent College COVID cases surging at the beginning of the spring semester, are students concerned about another surge on campus after break?
David Lynn, sophomore engineering major, is a tennis player who is planning to travel with the tennis team to Hilton Head, South Carolina, to play in matches over break.
“I’m personally not concerned at all about COVID,” Lynn said. “Since Omicron is even more transmissible than previous variants, I suspect the majority of people will eventually end up contracting the virus regardless of preventative measures.”
Sophie Neubert, sophomore English major, is also “honestly not extremely concerned about COVID.” Due to the precautionary measures she is aware of – such as unvaccinated student athletes being tested three time a week – Neubert feels rather confident in the school’s mitigation efforts.
Another precautionary measure Neubert mentioned is the English department’s Americans in Paris trip having “a vaccination requirement in order to attend.”
Americans in Paris has been a topic of discussion as COVID surges around the world have threatened the possibility of the trip throughout the semester. As of right now, however, the students will stay in Paris for the week of spring break, and Dr. Dennis McDaniel, the chairman of the English department and the class’s instructor, explained the preventative efforts being taken before and after the trip.
“Students must be fully vaxxed and boostered before the flight,” said Dr. McDaniel. “Also, they must submit a negative test, which will be administered before departure.”
Once in Paris, students will be tested again, but if a student were to receive a positive result, it “could mean missing the flight home.” If this happens, students will be given a limited reimbursement for quarantine.
“Students can purchase additional insurance that would reimburse the cost of the flight, if necessary,” McDaniel said.
Another international trip was planned through the McKenna School of Business. Students belonging to the school had the chance to spend spring break in Portugal, but Dr. Gary Quinlivan, Dean, said, “Due to COVID concerns, we canceled the trip.”
The Review reached out to faculty members who could discuss whether testing would be required for all students upon coming back to campus after spring break, but as of Feb. 13, no response to these inquiries has been made by faculty members.
However, Jackie Moon, freshman English major, has expressed concern for the possibility of COVID testing not being required upon the end of spring break.
“I think it is extremely irresponsible of the school to not require testing before we return to campus after spring break,” Moon said. “I recognize how lucky we are to go to school in person, but I believe it is the administration’s duty to make sure we do so in the safest way possible.”