3.10.21: Wellness Week: March 22-26

Dear faculty and teachers,

I appreciate all of your efforts to respond to the challenges of this year and this semester in particular. As we get closer to what would be a spring break in a typical semester, we see many signs that the pandemic is slowly subsiding in our region and on our campus. After the announcement in autumn that the traditional spring break would be canceled in order to minimize travel during the semester, we announced in January that we planned a “wellness week” for the week of the traditional spring break (March 22-26). The purpose of this week is to give students a moment to focus on personal wellbeing. Many of our faculties have adjusted their courses for this week, and groups and organizations are planning different self-sufficiency options. You can read more about some of these plans Here.

I’m writing today to thank the faculty and faculty who have already changed their courses for Wellness Week, perhaps by postponing an exam, changing a due date on a paper, or planning some other type of lecture for Wellness Week. If you did something, I would encourage you to do it Tell your students about the changes you’ve made, even if the change is relatively minor. Students greatly appreciate the recognition of the added stress they are under. I know some of us have high school or college aged children and if you do I would ask you to consider the pressures your own children are currently facing in their educational life. Not all struggles are obvious, and letting your students know that you are aware of the challenges they may face can go a long way.

If you haven’t changed your wellness week course expectations yet, I would ask you to consider this. Attend a class to have an informal discussion with your students, postpone a due date, or cancel an assignment. If you’re a doctoral student mentor, cancel a meeting or turn a meeting into a discussion about their life and career. I have spoken to many faculties who are concerned about student welfare and in many cases the first step in helping a student is to ask how they are or tell them you are interested. If you are concerned about a specific student, resources are available to help you Here.

I also encourage you to take some time during the wellness week to focus on your own wellbeing. We could all take a moment to rest and recharge, especially if we hit the middle of the semester. Whatever it looks like to you, please take care of yourself.

With deep appreciation for everything you do

Nathan Urban

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

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