STUDENTS OBSERVE FIRST MENTAL HEALTH DAY

OLIVIA FOSTER, NEWS WRITER

Students are making different plans with the four days off from classes in Winter Term.  

Wartburg leaders approved four days off from classes during the winter semester. Student Senate advocated for the break days because students reported high levels of stress and burnout during the fall semester, when Fall Break was canceled.  

During the days off, all classes and most activities are to be cancelled to give students a break from the hustle and bustle of college.  

Tuesday, February 9 was the first break day, and Entertainment ToKnight presented a performance by comedic hypnotist Dan Lornitis. 

Some activities have been planned for the upcoming days off on Feb. 24 and April 2 and April 5, and Student Senate is hoping to implement more events and games with the help of student organizations. 

Student Body President Yusra Malik was a big advocate for the break days. In early October, around midterms, she received messages from students who were saying that the lack of breaks in the fall semester was having a negative impact on their mental health. 

“Burnout was a real problem in the student body, and the people in Senate were feeling it, too,” Malik said. “We started talking about ways to give people a mental break in an otherwise exhaustingly long semester, and we came up with mental health days.” 

Student Senate worked closely with administration because the winter semester schedule had already been finalized when they suggested the idea of mental health days. 

“We had a lot of meetings and negotiations,” Emma Williams, the student body vice president for 2021-22, said. “Then one day Dan Kittle said that there was a plan to revise the winter schedule because of COVID, so we had a chance to build in some break days.” 

HULICES MIRELES (LEFT) AND BRITTA WILLIAMS (ABOVE) BOTH TOOK TIME TO RELAX DURING THE FIRST MENTAL HEALTH DAY. PHOTOS BY OLIVIA FOSTER.

“I’m probably going to watch a lot of Netflix and take a nap,” second-year student Britta Williams, said. “It will be a good mental break to have a day free from responsibilities.” 

Many students have similar plans. 

“I probably won’t do much,” Rosie Carter, a first-year student, said. “A day off will be nice though.” 

Several students want to use the mental health days to their advantage by working ahead. “On the days off, I’ll probably just try to get as much stuff done as I can,”  

Hulices Mireles, a second-year, said. “I’ll also play some video games though.” 

As for Malik and Williams, they both have plans to stay busy. 

“I probably won’t take much time off,” said Williams. “I might go to the gym and move my body, but then I’ll probably be working. I don’t sit well.” 

“I definitely got a lot of rest over the very long winter break, now I just want to keep moving,” Malik said. “I’ll take it easier than other days though.” 

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