Student Senate President answers questions on shortened fall break

When students here at Waynesburg University were able to look at their academic calendar and made plans for when to go back to their hometowns for their break, many who got through it, notably that of the upperclassmen, were baffled to see that their once weeklong break was cut to a mere four days counting the weekend. 

Although we here at Waynesburg certainly love our time on campus and chose to further our academic and in some cases athletic careers here for a reason, many were simply hoping for a slightly longer time to decompress from their rigorous schedules, upcoming midterms and the struggles that being a student athlete puts on you physically and mentally. So, the question arose, why was this the case?

I caught up this week with Student Senate President, Waynesburg SAAC President, PAC SAAC Vice President and Stover Scholar Luke Diel to see if he could shed some light on a topic that has left the entire student body here perplexed. 

When asked if the pandemic that has caused the university to shut down on numerous occasions was key to the shortening of our Fall Break, Diel replied, “In the past, Waynesburg University has offered two different types of breaks in fall semesters. Of course, beyond Labor Day being off, Waynesburg has offered students one week off for fall break and three days off for thanksgiving break. Unfortunately, over the course of the past year, the University has had to change the length of these breaks in the hopes to mitigate the risks of students going off campus for extended periods of time, risking bringing Covid-19 to campus, spreading the virus, which could affect the University greatly.” 

However, Diel also made a point to emphasize how involved the Student Senate was, is and will be regarding how our breaks here at Waynesburg are implemented. “Going forward the Waynesburg Student Senate both last year and this year have pushed for a change to the fall break and Thanksgiving break schedule. In working with students through polling and other conversations, as well as working with the administration, the Student Senate is pushing for a two or three day fall break going forward and then a full week off for Thanksgiving break.” 

Diel made mention to this rationale coming to be due to “logistical issues,” students have had in regard to their ability to see their families, which certainly deserves emphasis to be placed on for students who are given no other option but to fly or drive for multiple days just to visit relatives and loved ones. 

Diel concluded with a profound statement for the entire student body. 

“I would like to thank the patience of the Waynesburg University Students, as I know people desire a long enough break that is so beneficial to everyone’s mental health. Our students have been some of the most resilient people I have ever met during this pandemic, and I am proud to serve these amazing students.” 

Regardless of what has transpired this past year with this shortened break sneaking up on us, it is fair to say that we are in safe hands with Mr. Diel and the rest of the Student Senate being a key facet in these deliberating processes.