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Letter Regarding Spring Break 2021

It is hard to believe that Spring Break begins in less than a week.  Penn is one of just a handful of schools that did not modify our class calendar and thus still has a week without classes! This decision was not reached lightly. Your diligence in working with us to keep everyone safe during this historic year gave us confidence that we could stay our course.

Spring Break is a time for us to “recharge our batteries.”  The pressures of college life can at times be grueling, even more so during a pandemic. You have demonstrated an understanding of behavior that needs to be adhered to and a willingness to do so. Many of you will be leaving campus in just a few short days. There will be many activities to engage in during this respite. I encourage you to do so safely.

It is imperative to model the conduct you have so conscientiously and willingly adopted here. The grip of the pandemic, although lessening, has not released its grasp on daily living. Surveillance COVID testing will continue when we resume but there will not be gateway testing.  However, testing will be available in the first two weeks after break, free of charge, if you would like to be tested.  You will receive an email next week in regards to setting up an appointment to test when you return.  I trust that you will be responsible on break so we can complete the short time left in our semester in a comfortable manner.

It has been an historic year and our routines have all been altered. I miss engaging with you as I typically have, but I am proud of how the Penn family has navigated this moment. It will be a period that is proudly spoken about in our history. A time where we were resilient—in class, in competition and in daily campus life in a way that many institutions could not. I have always been proud to be a Statesmen. Perhaps never more so than now. That is because of you.

Enjoy your break, recharge, and return to campus safely.

Thank you for being a Statesmen.

President John Ottosson