On Monday, President Sean Decatur announced in a News Bulletin that all classes will be cancelled this Friday. In the absence of fall break this semester, Decatur noted that it is important to provide students a short break from academic responsibilities.
“Please take this opportunity to rest and recharge — it has been a challenging semester and this week has the added intensity of the election,” Decatur wrote in the email. “I do hope that a break as we turn toward the homestretch makes the weeks ahead more manageable.”
This announcement comes after a student petition for a day off on Election Day gained 645 signatures. The petition expressed students’ frustration at the lack of a fall break this semester and emphasized the necessity of creating time to take a mental break from academics.
The Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee also created a petition asking for Decatur to cancel classes and offer paid time off for student workers on Election Day. Despite these efforts, classes continued as scheduled that day.
Decatur noted that, when discussing a fall break, some faculty members expressed concerns about cancelling labs and seminar classes that only meet once a week. However, still recognizing the need for a break, he chose to cancel classes on a Friday, when there would be no labs or afternoon seminars scheduled. He also noted that, while trivial, Friday’s sunny forecast was another reason for scheduling the break that day.
Decatur also admitted that faculty and administrators have been involved in multiple conversations on the subject, joking that there had been more days of discussion on the topic than of the break itself.
According to Decatur, an extra day will not be added to the academic calendar to account for the day off.