URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — University of Illinois students will return to campus for the Spring semester a week later than originally planned.

WCIA previously reported that the U. of I. Senate had considered canceling Spring break and making other changes to the academic calendar.

On Monday, the university Senate moved forward with those plans. The Spring semester will now start on Jan. 25, 2021. Three non-instruction days were added on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021; Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2021; and Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

A resolution passed Monday by the Senate says “the health and safety of the campus and community are the primary drivers in this proposal.” In addition, the idea is to minimize the number of students traveling to and from campus and to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Days off were specifically scheduled outside of Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays to discourage traveling on three or four-day weekends.

“A higher COVID positivity rate followed even the three-day Labor Day weekend, when students and staff were more likely to travel away from then return to campus,” the proposal stated. “Any lengthy period of time in which there are not instructional days opens up more opportunities for such travel and, as a result, greater likelihood for positive cases, which can have significant impacts on the health and safety of not just those who are testing positive, but the larger campus and surrounding community as well.”

U. of I. Senate Academic Revision Proposal by Rich Flesch on Scribd