More Rest Days for Spring 2021 at Colgate
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Colgate University has extended its usual winter break by one week and cancelled spring break. In replacement of spring break, the university has only allowed students two additional days off-- Friday, February 12th and Friday, March 12th-- for the entire spring 2021 semester. This change in time off disregards the multiple complaints from faculty and students from the fall 2020 semester of the added stressors and difficulties of working during a pandemic.
Two rest days and an additional week added to winter break will not be able to compensate for spring break, which usually allows students to rest before preparing for their finals. During the rest days, some students may feel pressure to catch up on their work or to complete assignments that are due after the weekend and will not be able to utilize the time for rest as they would if it were spring break. Additionally, some students do not have classes on Fridays, so both rest days may not be impactful to every student's workload.
Students and staff need and deserve rest during not only a normal semester but also during a pandemic. We understand that the university has to make changes to the academic calendar to accommodate pandemic restrictions and cannot allow a full length spring break in order to prioritize the safety and health of its students and the local Hamilton community. However, we urge Colgate administration to include mental health in their discussions of students' health and safety. We ask that the university include more rest days for students and actively include students in their planning by surveying them for when to have rest days and how many to include in the academic calendar for spring semester.
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