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Chancellor's Blog: Wellness Days to help address health, well-being of students

| James Schmidt

Dear students on all UW-Eau Claire campuses:

As we get close to the end of our spring semester — a semester without a scheduled spring break — we know many are experiencing more stress as we juggle the pandemic, classes and other commitments. We have heard directly from students and the Student Senate that they are feeling worn out and challenged in meeting their obligations.

As with many things related to the pandemic, we have had to adapt and change as the year has progressed. While we had planned to work through the semester, we’ve heard your concerns and we have consulted with the University Senate Executive Committee.

This message is announcing the creation of two “Wellness Days” to occur during the month of April, to help address the health and well-being of our students.

  • Undergraduate classes will be canceled on Friday, April 16, and Thursday, April 29.
  • Students in practica, clinicals or student teaching will need to fulfill their commitments on those days.
  • Lab classes and classes that meet only once per week will be held.
  • All University services will remain open and available to students.

The deadline to withdraw from a course has also been pushed back to Friday, May 7. In addition, we will give students the option to take eligible courses on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading basis this semester, using the same practices as we did last spring. Once students have received their final grades, they can consult with their advisor about replacing the grade with a S/U designation. Students who have already withdrawn since Thursday, April 1, and would like to change their decision, may re-enroll in consultation with their advisor.

We want to thank faculty, staff and students for their response to our successful Blugold Flight Plan and encourage everyone to take advantage of the availability of free vaccines on campus for everyone over the age of 16. The FEMA vaccine clinic is open next week from 3-7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, including on the Wellness Days. You can register for the vaccine at vaccinate.wi.gov.

Not only will students have two days away from the classroom, but we are also working closely with departments across the university to develop a series of outdoor events and featured activities to be held on the Eau Claire campus through the remainder of the semester. Watch for that list of events which will be released next week.

We know that these changes won’t eliminate semester stress, but we hope they will help make a difference. If you need more assistance, please reach out to our Silvercloud wellness resources, which offer online mental health programs for anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia and resilience.

Blugolds, let’s continue to fly together and finish this semester strong!

University Executive Staff

Jim Schmidt, Chancellor
Patricia Kleine, Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Teresa O’Halloran, Interim Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Student Affairs
Billy Felz, Interim Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management
Grace Crickette, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration
Kimera Way, President, UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Inc.
Mike Carney, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
MJ Brukardt, Executive Director of Marketing and Planning
Paula Gilbeck, Interim Director of University Relations