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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Administration announces four additional reading days throughout Spring 2021 semester

Feb. 23-24 and April 7-8 will be added as reading days.
Alex Venero
Central Library on Vanderbilt’s campus, photographed September 10, 2020. (Alex Venero/Hustler Multimedia)

All undergraduate programs as well as the Graduate School will have exam and major assignment-free reading days on Feb. 23-24 and April 7-8. Students will still be required to attend class.

This announcement was made in an email from Provost Susan R. Wente, Vice Provost Vanessa Beasley and the Interim Dean of the Graduate School Bunmi Olatunji. The email states that not only will exams and major assignments not be due on these days, but in the period immediately following them as well.

“We are also asking students not to travel outside of the greater Nashville area at any time during the semester, including during any of these reading days,” the email reads.

The travel restriction is consistent with what the university asked students to do during the Fall 2020 semester.

The announcement of the reading days comes after the release of the Spring 2021 schedule, which did not include a spring break or any other breaks during the semester. This announcement also follows the provost’s establishment of an ad hoc committee tasked with making “wellness day” recommendations. 

Last semester, students created a petition entitled “Give Students a Day Off” which asked for a day break during the Fall 2020 semester. As of publication, the petition has over 1,600 signatures. The Fall 2020 semester did not contain any additional reading days or days off.

“The absence of a spring break was a difficult decision, but it is a necessary precaution to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible,” the email reads. “However, we know it is equally necessary to protect the ongoing wellness of our students—and to do this we must ensure that the rate and pace of our learning and discovery includes time to reflect and to care for one another.”

The email concluded by encouraging students to “make use of the many mental health resources and student organizations that support our students.”

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About the Contributor
Alex Venero
Alex Venero, Former Multimedia Director
Alex Venero (‘23) is from Rumson, NJ. She is majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in World Politics. When not shooting for The Hustler, she can be found at almost any Vanderbilt Athletics event or exploring the food and coffee of Nashville. She can be reached at [email protected].    
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Comments (3)

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VU Soph (She/Him/Zirs)
3 years ago

I look forward to catching up on reading streaming during this time

Regretful Transfer
3 years ago

This administration is a complete joke. I have spoken to friends from several other universities across the country, and I could not be any more ashamed to talk about our administration. This is just a horrid attempt to make it seem like admin actually cares about the mental health and wellbeing of our students, which simply isn’t true based on their actions. This has been an absolutely grueling semester. The only break we had was Thanksgiving break, where many of us were still forced to work. Despite thousands of students requesting for some form of pass/fail, and despite the fact that universities of similar prestige to Vanderbilt have enacted forms of pass/fail to assist their students, our administration won’t budge. I’ve seen grades plummet for several students, and many people withdrawing from classes because the semester has been overbearing and online classes have hindered their learning, but administration won’t budge. We have requested to have some sort of rest, and this is what we get from our administration? Reading days that cancel student activities but still have class meetings? These are not reading days, these are regular class days. This is just another terrible attempt from administration to give the illusion that they actually care about us. Vanderbilt administration is out of touch. Students deserve better, and our voices need to be heard. I am sorry for anyone who has been suffering from the pandemic, and from the stress this semester has caused. I am also sorry to any student who plans to apply to graduate school with a harsh dip in performance on their transcript this semester.

What an embarrassment.

John Doe
3 years ago

Dictionary: reading week, noun: a week, usually midway through a university term, during which there are no classes or lectures, intended for students to concentrate on reading or research
Vanderbilt: words can mean whatever I want them to mean.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Doe