Temple Student Government received more than 30 anonymous reports as of Feb. 27 of professors violating the university-mandated Wellness Day on Feb. 23, when classes were canceled, wrote Student Body President Quinn Litsinger in an email to The Temple News.
“Classes will be canceled on these days to give you a brief chance to catch your breath and take a break from class work,” wrote Vice President and Provost JoAnne Epps in a December 2020 announcement to students, faculty and staff.
The two Wellness Days on Feb. 23 and March 24 were announced after the university canceled spring break to reduce student travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
TSG collected the reports from a form they released on Feb. 26 and is continuing to receive submissions, Litsinger wrote.
“Professors who held class on Tuesday displayed an abhorrent disregard for student mental health and need to be held accountable,” Litsinger wrote.
The information will be reported to Dean of Students Stephanie Ives and the Faculty Senate to ensure the same issue does not occur on the March 24 Wellness Day, Litsinger wrote.
“We created these Wellness Days to give students a break and will alert the deans to remind their faculty that there are no classes on our Wellness Days,” wrote Raymond Betzner, a spokesperson for the university, in an email to The Temple News.
TSG will be releasing a similar form before the next Wellness Day on March 24, Litsinger wrote.
“Whether or not professors agree with this policy is neither here nor there — this was an order passed down from Provost Epps,” Litsinger wrote. “Professors holding class during a Wellness Day is no different from an employee doing anything else that is in direct violation of what their boss told them to do. As such, accountability is needed.”