ASNMU proposal for wellness day passed, no classes on March 31


Ashley Beronja/NW PRESQUE ISLE—NMU has cancelled classes on Wednesday, March 31 to hold a ‘Wellness Day’ for students. ASNMU’s proposal was passed by Erickson and a second day for April is in the talks.

Ashley Beronja

ASNMU’s formal recommendation for a wellness day has been approved and will be recognized on March 31. Classes will be canceled for the day but campus will still be open for business. 

Earlier in the semester during a forum meeting, President Fritz Erickson stated that to make up for the loss of spring break, NMU would be more lenient with snow days. However, students noticed that no snow days were given out as the weather was much warmer than expected.

“As you may recall, Northern began the semester a week later and cancelled spring break so that there would be less travel among students, faculty and staff, and a lesser risk of travelers bringing COVID-19 to other places or back from their spring break designations,” Erickson said. “I know students are really missing spring break and I’ve been waiting all winter to be able to call a snow day, but no snow.” 

The ASNMU recommendation was for Erickson to close campus on Wednesday, March 31 and Thursday, April 15. ASNMU said that they felt that these two days are justifiable due to the fact that the semester still has six-weeks remaining. 

“We chose midweek days because we hope students will be discouraged from travel with the single days off,” the proposal said. “Due to the commonality of classes that meet twice a week on different days, we feel that one Wednesday and one Thursday will allow professors to build accommodations in their classes.”

While classes will be canceled for the day, Erickson said students will be notified by their instructors with schedule changes and how they should expect to turn in their work for March 31. Erickson said that if the day off goes well, NMU will consider another day for April.

ASNMU said that they understand that with the days off that there would be conflict with classes, labs, exams and events, however the benefits of having a wellness day would be greater than the missed classes or events, leading to a higher quality of work as the semester ends.

“The impetus for this proposal is largely a mental health break, a full university closure will most effectively achieve this goal because the greatest amount of faculty, staff, and students will have a break,” the proposal said.