Tuesday, July 23, 2024

VPAA disapproves proposed mental health break

by Nina Isabelle J. Alolod | October 29, 2022

A resolution authored by representatives from the Institute of Clinical Laboratory Sciences (ICLS) and co-authored by 16 representatives of the 32nd Student Assembly requesting the Silliman University Administration to include a semestral mental health break after midterms was disapproved despite it being passed by the assembly with no objections and abstentions.

Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), Dr. Earl Jude Paul Cleope rejected the proposal since, “We are already on a F2F mode and besides there is also a long break from Oct. 28- Nov. 2.”  

The Silliman University Student Government Student’s Rights and Welfare Committee (SUSG STRAW) posted a survey on their Facebook page last Oct. 13 to strengthen said resolution in the deliberation of the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs but was still disapproved. 

ICLS representative Jay Jacutin shared that they garnered 1256 responses through the SUSG STRAW survey and consulted the League of Governors and the 32nd Student assembly. Moreover, they also got the resolution endorsed by the Dean of Students.

“We, the principal authors, could not get what went wrong,” he said.

According to STRAW, the proposed date of the mental health break would be on Nov. 3-5 since Oct. 29 is the last day of exams with Nov. 1 and 2 are holidays. “A three-day break is all that Sillimanians want,” added Nicole Anne Gatilao, Vice chairperson of STRAW.

Chairperson of STRAW, Bianca Joyce Flores, said that the goal of the mental health break is to provide students with time to attend holiday celebrations, spend time with family, and manage their mental well-being after academic pressures.

“It is important that we should have our mental health breaks to help us further recover from the physical and mental exhaustion that we students experience. In addition, students won’t get to experience burnout more often,” Alyssa Marie Lorayna, co-chairperson of STRAW added.

Despite initial rejection, the resolution is currently being processed for reconsideration.

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