In an email sent to students yesterday morning, Vice Provost for Academics Craig M. Wheeland, Ph.D. announced that University Provost Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD, has approved two “working breaks” for the Spring semester. 

The breaks are spread out throughout the semester, with the first “working break” scheduled from Wednesday Feb. 17 to Thursday Feb. 18 and the second break scheduled from Tuesday March 16 to Wednesday March 17.

The email explained that in a recent survey about the Fall semester, both students and faculty expressed the increased pressure they felt due to “different course modalities, health concerns, and the compressed semester schedule.” The working breaks have been implemented in an effort to offer students and faculty a “brief respite” during the semester. 

A “working break,” however, is not a complete break from all academic responsibilities.

“We define a ‘working break’ to be a period of time during which no assignments, exams, or papers are due” Wheeland said in the email. 

Classes can still be held as normal at the discretion of the instructor and labs that are scheduled during the break will still occur as well.  

Wheeland also acknowledged that the change in deadlines may lead to an increased amount of work for students around the “working break.”

“We asked faculty to consider alternative activities and low-stakes assessments on the days around the working breaks in the spirit of offering a break” Wheeland said in the email.

The “working breaks” are for undergraduate students but can be implemented by faculty for graduate courses. The Charles Widger School of Law already has 5 days off in their schedule, so Wheeland noted that law school faculty should not implement these breaks.

The only other break students have during the Spring semester is a no class day on April 2, Good Friday.