Spring Break in 2020 was a hectic time for many colleges and universities, as it coincided with nationwide coronavirus lockdowns. This year, some schools have cancelled Spring Break, worried that students might bring infection back to campus. The University of California, Davis, on the other hand, has opted to take an interesting tactic to try to curb risky Spring Break behavior – offering students stipends to stay on campus during Spring Break.
UC Davis’ “Healthy Davis Together Spring Break Grant”, part of their city-wide health and safety initiative, will endow 2,000 grants of $75 each to students who pledge stay on-campus during Spring Break. University officials estimate that about 50% of students live on campus or elsewhere in the city of Davis, and started this program to keep students conscientious of traveling and bringing COVID in from other, higher-risk areas. In order to qualify for the grant, students had to submit their Spring Break plans, pledge to remain in Davis, and agree to take a COVID test. The $75 will take the form of a gift card that students can use at local businesses. The imitative has already proved popular, with UC Davis extending the total number of grants multiple times, from 500 to 750, to the eventual 2,000.
UC Davis has a strong incentive to encourage students to staycation for Spring Break. Their COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped significantly since the beginning of the semester, from 5% in January to just 0.3% as of last week. That being said, students are allowed to travel for Spring Break, but they will have to take a COVID test three to four days before and after their trip, as well as quarantine for 10 days upon their return.
What do you think of this initiative? If your school offered you $75 dollars to stay on campus instead of traveling for Spring Break, would you take it? As always, let us know in the comments.