Letter to the Editor

Clara Kuerschner, President, Student Senate

Hello Warriors,

On October 27, WSU Student Senate passed a recommendation on Spring Break 2021. Our recommendation was to cancel the scheduled Spring Break and distribute those five days into the Spring Semester as additional break days. These break days would be a chance for students to catch up on or take a break from classes.
Before making this recommendation, many Senators used Facebook Groups to get student feedback as well as the Spring Break Survey that was sent out to all students. In both situations, many students leaned towards having a Spring Break, knowing that a two-week quarantine would be imposed afterward. Even though this was the case, Student Senate had to consider more factors than just what students wanted.
In our three weeks of discussion, there were many factors brought up by members of Student Senate and their constituents. The three that were most influential to our decision were: (1) Public Health and Safety; (2) Student Mental Health; and (3) Getting Days Off. Senators had to consider the health and safety of more than just the Winona State community in this decision. The threat of spreading COVID-19 in the community of Winona, and the communities that we may have traveled to during Spring Break, was something on the forefront of our minds.
Student Mental Health was the next most pressing issue we talked about. Students need the mental health relief of having days off during Spring Break to either catch up, get ahead or take a break from school work. If we were going to recommend cancelling Spring Break, we wanted to make sure that students would still have some of those days throughout the semester to take a break.
This played into why we advocated for spreading out the five days rather than just being done one week early in April, and wanting those days to be days free of class. As with University Advancement/Improvement Days, lab classes and classes that meet once a week typically do not have that day off like many other classes do. We wanted to make sure that Administration and Faculty would give students those days off. I have already been talking with President Olson, Dr. Newton (Provost for Academic Affairs) and Faculty about ensuring that students will have those days free of class and classwork.

Clara Kuerschner | Student Senate President