Syracuse University Implements “Wellness Days” into the Spring Semester

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021 at 7:19 pm by CitrusTV

Louise Rath, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – On Wednesday, Syracuse University announced that the school will implement two “Wellness Days” into their Spring 2021 semester, according to Interim Vice Provost and Chancellor John Liu.

On Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2021, and Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2021, Syracuse University will hold no classes, no classwork will be due, and no exams will be administered, Liu said in an email to students and faculty.

Instead, the University will offer “programs that promote health, well-being and personal care in this stressful time,” Liu said.

This news comes days after current SU student Spencer Pierce started a petition to the university requesting these “Wellness Days,” in an effort to address growing concerns of academic fatigue
and poor mental health among students.

With the absence of spring break, students would be attending classes for 14 consecutive weeks with no break, which can negatively impact teaching capabilities, mental health, and cause academic burnout, Pierce said.

The petition received over 2,400 signatures, and noted that colleges such as Duke University, Boston University, and Harvard University have implemented similar “wellness days.”

“By ignoring our request, the Syracuse University Administration will directly contribute to the decline of students and faculty mental health,” the petition stated.

Comments on the petition supported the addition of “wellness days” to SU’s academic calendar. “No one can be expected to work for weeks on end without a break… do you just want students to ‘get through’ school or to actually get something out of it?” SU parent Doug Keith commented on the petition.

CitrusTV spoke to Pierce after Interim Vice Provost and Chancellor John Liu’s announcement this afternoon.

“I just hope this can be the start to really realizing how mental health can impact people’s lives and their performance, especially at school. Everyone has a story and I think that these mental health days will provide students with a lot more than just a day off, but also a day of reflection and a day to check on others,” Pierce said.