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West Texas universities continue to make changes to ensure the safety for students

Angelo State has canceled Spring Break for the school year, while Abilene Christian University is still giving students the time off.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Spring Break is a college tradition for students across the country. Students ditch the classroom for the beach and sun and all the activities that come with the break.

However, Angelo State University has done away with Spring Break for the academic school year.

ASU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald Topliff said it’s not worth the risk for students to leave and come back with a possible positive COVID-19 test.

"We're seeing a little uptick in the number of our positive cases, but nothing critical at this point," Topliff said.

Topliff worries once the students leave, they will be in an uncontrolled environment.

The cancellation of Spring Break has made changes to the academic calendar for the students and staff. School started later for the beginning of the semester and will end before the Thanksgiving break.

To make up for the absence of Spring Break, the spring semester will start Jan. 25. This will give students two months off from school before they are required to return.

"It doesn't make any sense to turn them loose for a week on Spring Break and let them go to the four corners of the Earth," Topliff said. "Being in an unstructured environment and then bring them back and have to take the risk that we're bringing a bunch of positive COVID cases back to campus."

However, the situation is different for Abilene Christian University as the college has not yet decided on Spring Break.

ACU Director of Communications and Media Relations Wendy Kilmer said in an email the school is still asking students to avoid travel as much as possible. The email said ACU has not made any announcements for the spring semester, but could change day-by-day.

Topliff knows Spring Break is a college tradition and understands this does put a damper on the plans for students and staff.

"We're not going to have planeloads of students loading up and going to Cabo San Lucas, that's just not going to happen," Topliff said.

The number one priority for both campuses to ensure the safety of their students so they can finish their academic goals.