Though campus will be closed, some classes will resume during the “extended spring break,” according to a campus message from Provost James Holloway.
This latest announcement, released late Friday evening, comes as UNM scrambles to prevent the spread of COVID-19 onto Main campus. Earlier in the day, UNM announced it would be extending spring break by two weeks, from March 15 to April 5.
“You should be in contact with your instructors about their instructional plans for this period, as other forms of instruction may continue,” the Campus Communication said.
Online classes will continue as normal, including the online second-half classes, according to the provost’s communication.
The provost’s announcement created confusion online.
Anna Janicek, a junior in electrical engineering, tweeted “can @PresidentStokes and @HollowayUNM get on the same page and just say we have two-weeks of online classes after spring break instead of saying we have three-weeks off???”
Holloway responded, reiterating the release’s statement that some classes would be moved online, some classes would be a hybrid of online and in-person and some classes would be in-person after April 5.
For Janicek, the extended break forced her to ask tough questions.
“I didn’t believe it when Stokes sent out the email. I read the email like three times. Then I watched the video with a lab partner,” Janicek told the Daily Lobo. “I think that if they sent the (provost's) email a little bit closer to the press releases, it felt like the timing was off.”
She said she wasn’t sure if she’d have to fly home, if she’d be able to work at her on-campus job or even how long the break was going to be. Mostly, Janicek said she just wants to know how to continue her education in the time of coronavirus.
“As of right now, the extended break affects students in regards to coursework only not employment,” Financial Aid Manager Elizabeth Amador said in an email to the student employment listserv. “Student employees may continue working up to 28 hours (20 hours for international students) per week.”
Student employment won’t be affected during the extended spring break according to Amador in an email sent to the student employment listserv. However, it said that details on how it will affect faculty and staff are being discussed.
Just before the Provost announced some classes will resume before April 5, President Garnett Stokes told staff they might start working from home. UNM said they would notify affected staff on March 16. The goal is to reduce the number of staff on campus.
“When everything happens so quickly like that there will be confusion,” Undergraduate Student Body President Adam Biederwolf said.
Biederwolf said he understands the confusion, but keeping classes going — even just online — is the best option for undergraduates and seniors trying to graduate.
Holloway did not respond to request for comment by the time of publication.
Justin Garcia is the editor in chief of the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Just516garc