Two weeks ago, the Editorial Board — and about 1,500 other undergrads — requested students get Election Day, and the day after, off.
We are happy that the administration did something students asked for, and gave us Nov. 3 off. Of course, administration only met us halfway, as we asked for two and got one.
But more importantly, some of us won’t even get that much. Some students, such as those in asynchronous lectures, will still have a class to watch on their own time, and professors will continue to plow through the material like they always do — disregarding any sense of work-life separation.
Don’t get us wrong; a Band-Aid on a bullet hole is still better than nothing. But the beauty of fall break was that professors had accommodated for it before the semester even began.
At the very least, professors should treat this upcoming day of cancelled classes as a proper break, without homework, without pre-recorded mandatory lectures, without trying to cram that missed day elsewhere into the syllabus — an honest to goodness break. Which, admittedly, is logistically difficult for certain STEM classes.
But even if professors did just give their students a free pass on that day’s homework, that’s only a temporary fix.
A day off will not actually address the underlying problem. Burnout, with all its many flavors — cutthroat pre-med culture, first-years who bite off more than they can chew, Zoom fatigue — is a complex, multi-person, multi-month project that we don’t have the answer to.
Good thing it’s not our job to come up with that solution. It’s administrators’ job, and as with most admin-student relations issues, they dropped the ball and failed to follow up after exhibiting a semi-responsive facade.
By the way, how’s that committee doing on finding an excuse as to why the flag display can’t go back up?
Repeatedly, UR has delivered performative responses to student demands and student issues, without substantially doing the work to solve the problem. We get it; it’s hard in a bureaucracy to move significant change forward without having 25 meetings where the deans and assistant deans and deans’ assistants can come to a consensus on what the problem even is.
But don’t placate us with empty promises of a commitment to, say, lessen institutional racism, and then serve us diversity round tables and a podcast as a panacea.
We’re proud to attend an institution that paid attention to some of this summer’s student requests, like hiring a permanent director for the Frederick Douglass Institute — after the position had been vacant for two years despite ongoing student activism calling for the position to be filled.
On that subject, the therapy circles for people of color offered by UCC are fantastic, and we’re sure they’re helping a lot of people. But they’re also a small-scale, reactive response to a much bigger problem.
We’re legitimately grateful for the hiring of the new director, and the day off this Tuesday.
But we’re frustrated, because in the endless flowchart of administrators, student body issues get bounced around from person to person until they land in their final resting place: a committee that everyone forgets about.
We’re tired of One Community dialogues that are pushed as the only avenue to advocate for change, only — from the perspective of students who didn’t participate — for no large-scale changes to come out of those meetings.
Now that Dean of the College in AS&E Jeffrey Runner is having biweekly lunches open to students, we have yet another opportunity to share our thoughts, feelings, and suggestions with the powers that be.
We’re tired of administration coming up with new ways to have dialogue with students without the promise of action. We’re tired of administration giving small wins to student activists instead of addressing the underlying issues.
The Editorial Board is a weekly Opinions article representing the view of the Campus Times, co-written by Editor-in-Chief Hailie Higgins, Publisher An Nguyen, Managing Editor Corey Miller-Williams, Features Editor Micah Greenberg, and Opinions Editor Lucy Farnham.