Fall 2020 took holidays away from students to create a more COVID-19 friendly environment with the avoidance of travel. However, Thanksgiving did give three days off to students as the final week of the semester was purely remote.
During that semester, it became official that holidays would again turn to asynchronous offerings and Spring Break would be completely taken away.
The New York City Honors College staff met in December to discuss and reflect on how the fall semester went and what changes they could bring to the campus. They decided to initiate a wellness week for the sake of professors and students.
“We noticed that student motivation and energy levels dipped mid-semester,” Dr. Jaclyn Kopel, the Director of the Pforzheimer Honors College, said. “The staff also felt we needed a break from teaching to recharge our own energy levels and focus on some of the admin work that needs to be completed. Thus, we decided to build it into this semester.”
From March 14 to March 19, the Honors College on the NYC campus will be hosting a Wellness Week to replace Spring Break. The faculty was asked to offer asynchronous activities and assignments for their Honors classes or put together something different for their students. Virtual or in-person field trips were suggested, as well as other non-lecture academic activities in that week.
“I scheduled a break into my classes last semester and assigned the field trip instead. Students responded positively to it,” Kopel said.
The Wellness week is not mandatory for students to attend, but staff and faculty highly encourage any participation if possible. Currently on the Wellness Week checklist, Shannon Haick, the Associate Director for the Advising Center for Exploring Majors, is hosting a yoga session for the students. Academic Advisor Mohini Gobin is holding a stress reduction workshop, and the faculty have put together other small activities that stimulate comfort − such as a talent show and pie making.
“Additionally, we asked our faculty, and we’ll remind them, to provide, where appropriate, positive feedback to the students during that week,” said Kopel.