The Student Association Assembly passed a resolution Wednesday calling on President Satish Tripathi and the Faculty Senate to add mandatory “student wellness days” to the academic calendar.
The resolution passed on a 2-0-1 vote, with only Austin Wolfgang, the recently-elected Assembly Speaker and author and sponsor of the resolution, abstaining since he chaired the meeting.
The resolution, called A2021-R4, cited SUNY guidelines which allowed for schools to implement midweek reading days as spring break alternatives. It further noted that other colleges and universities adopted spring 2021 academic calendars with health and wellness days and that a Change.org petition calling for “days off throughout the spring 2021 semester” for UB students had garnered 1,150 as of Thursday evening. It also called on the SA Executive Board — composed of the president, vice president and treasurer — to meet with “relevant administrators to resolve the issue.”
The SA Assembly had not met for over a year prior to Wolfgang’s election on March 17. Its Wednesday meeting, which lasted just six minutes, was its third of the academic year. A2021-R4 was its first resolution of the year pertaining to a subject other than SA rules.
“As the author of this resolution, I was very happy to see it pass the Assembly,” Wolfgang wrote in an email. “While most SUNY campuses chose to add an alternative pause of instruction, UB did not. UB Administration actively chose not to put forward an academic calendar with any mid-week reading days. SUNY Chancellor [Jim] Malatras chose to stay silent on the issue instead of standing up for UB students like he should have.”
Nelaje Branch, president of the Student Association, said the resolution would be emailed to Tripathi Thursday and that “hopefully we receive a speedy response to move forward with scheduling the meeting.”
However, as of early Thursday evening, Tripathi’s office had not received a copy of the resolution from the SA Assembly, according to university spokesperson John DellaContrada.
Tripathi’s exact position on the resolution is unclear at this time. Tripathi did, however, promulgate the Faculty Senate Executive Committee’s breakless academic calendar proposal in November after weeks of fierce debate.
Calendar changes would have to be drafted, debated and approved by the Faculty Senate and its executive committee before being promulgated by Tripathi. Only six weeks of classes remain in the spring semester.
A spokesperson for the Faculty Senate did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Grant Ashley is an assistant features editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Grant Ashley is the managing editor at The Spectrum. He is a political science and (mediocre) Spanish double major. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on Twitter @Grantrashley.