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UL Lafayette announces changes to Spring 2021 academic calendar

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An extra day off is in store for University of Louisiana at Lafayette students this spring.

UL Lafayette has canceled classes on April 16, designated as Lagniappe Day on campus.

Lagniappe means “something extra.” Its namesake day is held each spring at the University. Among planned activities for Lagniappe Day are canoe races on Cypress Lake, a managed wetland at the center of campus. The highlight is a free crawfish boil for students, faculty and staff in which 20,000 pounds of mudbugs are served.

Although changes to planned activities may be necessary as the event nears because of continued uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic, students won’t be denied their lagniappe, said Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president.

“Because we aren’t yet sure if such large, in-person events will be possible, we’ve decided to cancel classes that day,” Savoie said in a message to the campus community on Monday.

Savoie announced one other change to the Spring 2021 academic calendar.

“While many universities have canceled their spring breaks, we have chosen to shorten ours instead,” Savoie said. “We encourage members of the University community to limit travel during this period. By doing so, you reduce the possibility you may contract COVID-19 and bring it back to campus when you return.”

Spring Break will be held from Friday, April 2, through Tuesday, April 6. 

The remainder of the spring academic calendar remains unchanged, and the University plans to structure the spring semester much as it did the fall, Savoie said.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Mardi Gras break will be observed as holidays as originally scheduled.  Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, Jan. 18, and Mardi Gras break is Feb. 15-17.  For both holidays, campus is closed and classes will not meet.

Masks and face coverings will continue to be required on campus, and social distancing protocols will remain in place when classes begin on Jan. 13. A wide variety of in-person classes, as well as hybrid, HyFlex and online courses, will be offered.

“This is our general plan moving forward. But, if 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that we all need to remain agile should the unpredictable arise. We will continue to evaluate and make changes as necessary based on the latest and best public health guidance,” Savoie said. 

In his message to the campus, the president paid tribute to members of the University community, whom he credited with ensuring the continued success of the Fall 2020 semester.

He praised employees and students for their “conscientiousness and consideration” in following the University’s safety protocols and public health guidance.

“You’ve protected our academic and research missions, ensured business and operational continuity, and enabled the University to continue to serve – and, in many cases, lead – our state and community in overcoming the pandemic’s challenges,” Savoie said. 

“I know it hasn’t always been easy, but your remarkable dedication has provided a template of success we can apply to the coming semester.”

Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette