The University of South Carolina has made a significant change to its academic calendar for the fall semester.
In an announcement made by the school late Sunday evening, USC has decided to cancel Fall Break and will stop in-person classes for the fall semester on Nov. 24.
President Bob Caslen said the decision was made to cancel Fall Break and accelerate in-person instruction for the semester due to an anticipated spike in cases of COVID-19 at the beginning of December.
Here is the official release from the school:
Canceling Fall Break — the public health risks associated with thousands of students and faculty returning to campus after Fall Break travels could be significant for the campus and Columbia communities and could jeopardize the continuation of the semester.
Remote learning following Thanksgiving Break — our best current modelling predicts a spike in cases of COVID-19 at the beginning of December, which also will likely coincide with traditional flu season.
“I realize that students and faculty look forward to getting away and recharging in the middle of the semester, and I appreciate that many of you will not be pleased with the decision to cancel Fall Break,” Caslen said in the release. “These changes are part of the new normal that all of us must embrace as we return to campus for work and study, and they are necessary for us to successfully resume in-person instruction. Most importantly, they reflect our top priority: your health, safety and wellbeing.
“Thank you for your continued support and for your willingness to work creatively with this new fall schedule. Working together as a team, we will make the Fall 2020 semester an excellent and safe experience for students, faculty and staff.”
This move would – hypothetically, of course – allow the South Carolina football team to be on campus and open the season on Sept. 5 against Coastal Carolina and play all the way through the final week of the season. This would, however, overlap with the Gamecocks’ regular season finale against Clemson on Nov. 28.