The UB Faculty Senate’s Academic Policies and Grading Committee will hold a closed-door meeting with Student Association Assembly Speaker Austin Wolfgang Tuesday evening to discuss a resolution calling on the university to add “mandatory wellness days” to the academic calendar.
That meeting will precede an even larger conference on Wednesday evening, when the Faculty Senate Executive Committee — composed of 23 professors and faculty members — discusses and reviews the Academic Policies and Grading Committee’s “findings and updates.”
On March 31, the SA Assembly passed a resolution, called A2021-R4, which calls on President Satish Tripathi and the UB Faculty Senate to implement midweek reading days as spring break alternatives. After the six-minute meeting, Wolfgang, the author and sponsor of the resolution, told The Spectrum he was “happy to see it pass the Assembly.” Students have been clamoring for an alternative to spring break since UB announced last November that the one-week mid-semester break would be canceled, as a result of COVID-19. Other SUNY schools, including UAlbany and Binghamton University, have instituted midweek mental health days, as allowed by SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras.
SUNY Fredonia announced last Thursday that two days this month — April 13 and 21 — would be designated as “mental health days,” meaning classes would be canceled and students would be “encouraged to use these days to rest and recharge,” according to an email from Kevin Kearns, SUNY Fredonia interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.
UB opted not to adopt any reading or mental health days this semester.
The Academic Policies and Grading Committee reviews, reports and recommends admissions and recruitment policies to the Faculty Senate; reviews the university’s grading policies; and handles matters relating to academic policies, like degree requirements, faculty evaluation of student academic performance and university facilities.
“Students will undoubtedly learn and perform better if given the support they need,” the Student Association Assembly’s resolution reads.
This is a developing story.
Jack Porcari is the assistant features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Porcari is the assistant features editor at The Spectrum. He is a political science major with a minor in law and journalism. Aside from writing and editing, he enjoys playing piano, flow arts, reptiles and activism.