We have almost reached the exact half-point of the spring semester. That means, normally, Spring Break would have just begun.
Due to COVID-19, the University of Arizona replaced Spring Break with five “reading days,” spread out through the entire semester. Supposedly, these days were still meant to provide students rest in the semester while preventing them from travelling and spreading COVID-19. While we recognize those concerns, the Daily Wildcat editorial board wrote in fall in opposition to this decision, predicting this would not stop students from taking vacations and citing mental and physical health concerns.
The fact of the matter is five reading days sprinkled throughout a semester do absolutely nothing. Most of us are already online, we already won’t be leaving our homes to go to class. We won’t be using these reading days to take care of ourselves, to do something relaxing or fun, we will be catching up — and the very name “reading day” implies that’s exactly what we should be doing. Perhaps we gain three extra hours in one of our days. We gain a nap, maybe a movie, but a true mental break? It’s anything but. The stress from everything we did yesterday and the weight of everything we must do tomorrow will still hang over our heads.
Despite administration’s decision, the Daily Wildcat will be taking a Spring Break. From Saturday, March 6, through Sunday, March 14, the Wildcat will halt production of our newsletters, except for our main Wednesday letter, which was fully developed Friday, March 5. Our staff will not be attending any meetings this week, and all non-essential content will be put on hold.
We understand we are a newspaper and we have a duty to the public, but we also have a duty to our staff. We are a student newspaper, and we balance our schoolwork and our job every day.
As the editor-in-chief, I cannot in good conscience allow this staff to continue as they have been without a mental health break. If it won’t come from the academic side, then it will come from the job side. The break is an absolute necessity, so I will be treating it as such.
Sam Burdette | Editor-in-Chief