UPDATE: Southwestern University extends spring break, moves to distance learning due to coronavirus concerns

Southwestern University extends spring break amid coronavirus concerns March 11. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Southwestern University extends spring break amid coronavirus concerns March 11. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Southwestern University extends spring break amid coronavirus concerns March 11. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Updated 8:15 a.m. March 13

Southwestern University has extended its spring break a full second week due to coronavirus concerns, the university's website stated March 12.

Southwestern initially extended spring break by two days for students.

"In trying to protect both the welfare of the campus community and the ability of students to complete their spring coursework, and, in some cases, their degrees, in the face of COVID-19, we have been taking a step by step approach—taking one step and then evaluating before considering the next," it said.

Beginning March 30, classes will be taught through distance-learning avenues for at least two weeks ending April 9, due to the Good Friday holiday, it said. During that time, university officials will asses whether face-to-face on-campus learning can resume April 13, it said.


The university also announced it has suspended all athletic competitions, instructed all students studying abroad to return back to the U.S. but will not be allowed to return to campus until cleared to do so, canceled all summer study abroad programs, and canceled or reorganized all campus gatherings and events.

"Because the situation is fluid, we are discussing and assessing our operational plans every day. We will communicate as quickly as possible, any changes in the day-to-day operation of the campus," it said.

For more information on Southwestern distance learning, visit
www.southwestern.edu/emergency.

Earlier:

Southwestern University announced that it will extend its spring break, citing coronavirus concerns March 11.

The break will be extended by two days for students in an effort to better prepare the campus for any additional actions that need to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus, the announcement said. The break will be March 16-24, it said. The extension does not apply to faculty.

"The university strongly recommends that all students remain off campus during the entirety of spring break," the announcement said. "There will be no classes or programming on campus during this period."

The university also stated that all food services will be closed during the break following dinner served March 13. Food services will begin again March 24, it said.


Southwestern said it will continue campus operations and university-sponsored domestic travel for students, faculty and staff for the time being, but will communicate if there are any changes to the decision. However, it did cancel summer abroad trips to Granada, Spain.

"The university will continue to monitor the factors surrounding other summer abroad programs and will make a decision about each one in the coming weeks," it said.


The university asked that if any member of the campus community feels sick during or after any travel, that they self-quarantine before returning to campus.