Classes will be cancelled for students in the college of Arts, Sciences & Engineering on Tuesday, Nov. 3, Election Day, according to a variety of in-house emails to TAs, professors, and administrators. The official email from Runner to the University is anticipated to be released later today.
The planned ‘day off’ was announced on Wednesday, Oct. 28 in an email by Runner responding to student complaints about an accelerated and stressful mostly online semester.
A SA Impact petition, which garnered nearly 600 signatures within an hour of its release on Oct. 20, asked administration to give students and faculty two days off on Nov. 3 and 4, citing mental health concerns and voting access. One of the arguments mentioned by supporters of the petition was the removal of Fall Break this semester, which created an academic calendar with barely any pauses.
In selecting Election Day, a Tuesday, as the scheduled break, the University avoids creating the long weekend that Fall Break would have been, during which people might be tempted to travel against COVID guidelines.
While the push for a break was successful, some students are still dissatisfied. Senior Shourya Jain posted on Overheard at Rochester questioning why the break was only one day, as opposed to the original two requested, while others in the comments felt that it was too little, too late.
Some, like junior Lara Sullivan, felt that without changes on professors’ ends, the break would be ineffectual.
“Most professors won’t adjust their schedules accordingly, so having a ‘break’ when we already have more work than normal just means packing the same amount of material into fewer days,” Sullivan wrote, though she also acknowledged that “[it’s] something, and I’m grateful for it being something.”