In lieu of spring break, Butler will provide a BuBeWell weekend in March. Collegian file photo.
STASIA RAEBEL | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
In an effort to give students a break this semester, BUBeWell is hosting a weekend of activities on March 13 and 14. This is an initiative to make up for the lack of a spring break this semester due to COVID-19, which was announced in an email to students on Sept. 18, 2020. However, the university is not giving students days off during the semester, like many other Indiana universities.
Other universities have already added a few days off for students to make up for the lack of a spring break. Indiana University will have a wellness day with no classes on Tues. Feb. 16, Wed. March 24 and Thurs. April 22. Purdue, Notre Dame and Ball State are implementing a similar break schedule by having one-day midweek breaks throughout the semester for students to relax. Valparaiso will proceed with a full one-week spring break, while Marion will have a five-day extended weekend for Easter.
Josh Downing, director of recreation and wellness, is involved with BUBeWell and explained the goals of the weekend in an email interview with The Butler Collegian.
“Without a spring break, university leadership feel it’s important that we give students the opportunity to step away from academic work and allow you to focus on well-being,” Downing said.
The details are still being finalized, but Downing anticipates a mixture of in-person and virtual events focused around the messages of self-care, sleep and connecting with friends and family.
BUBeWell will also be hosting events in person, virtually and over social media throughout the entire semester to support students. One example is the fitness and nutrition program — a collaboration between Recreation and Wellness and Bon Appetit — which will provide fitness and nutritional advice and create a sense of community for the participants.
However, students like Maria Chapelle, a first year pharmacy major, worry students will still get burnt out without a break.
“I feel like [BUBeWell weekend] will just be like a regular weekend, and I don’t think I’ll be any more relaxed,” Chapelle said.
After going through the fall semester without a break, Chapelle said she enjoyed having a longer winter break. She was feeling burnt out by the end of the semester, and said it will be “tiring” to not have a spring break this semester.
While professors are encouraged to not assign work over the weekend, Chapelle is skeptical whether she will be able to enjoy the weekend to its fullest. She worries that she will be working ahead on her classwork during the BUBeWell weekend instead of relaxing, and she will have more assignments to do during the week before.
“I think [professors] are going to make the assignments due that Friday, so [professors will] just move up the deadline,” Chapelle said.
In spite of these concerns, Chapelle said she would not be in favor of having days off because she worries it will make the semester longer.
Isabella Buckman, a first year dance performance major, also experienced a sense of academic fatigue last semester, but she is hopeful this semester will be better.
“Last semester I felt periods of burnout,” Buckman said. “At times I found it hard to stay motivated all the way through the semester. However, I think this semester will be easier because students are better adjusted to this schedule and know what to expect.”
As a dancer, Buckman dances in a minimum of three dance classes every day, in addition to rehearsals in evenings and on weekends. She said balancing dance with academic classes can be difficult, but most of her friends are dancers, so it is easy to find a time to hang out with them since they have a similar schedule.
However, Buckman and her friends may not be able to participate in the BUBeWell weekend due to their dance schedule. Although Buckman is used to working without a break, she believes that having a couple of school days off would be beneficial.
“I think the university could give students days off throughout the semester with breaks from academic work because mental health is important,” Buckman said. “My peers think going to school in a pandemic is really draining and not having breaks has caused serious burnout and lack of motivation.”
Students like Buckman believe doing something similar to other universities at Butler could help students. She said a few days off could help students recharge, ultimately improving their academic performance and helping their mental health.