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Dear undergraduate students,
Here we are, almost at the end of the semester. During one of the toughest semesters on record, your grit and resilience have been inspiring. We are truly proud of your collective efforts and hard work.

At the same time, we know that this effort has been physically and emotionally taxing. We have heard your feedback around the need for some opportunity to pause and recover in a condensed semester. As a result, we have worked closely with Duke students and Duke Student Government, faculty governance, and others to introduce much needed breaks from the demands of the academic schedule in the Spring 2021 calendar.

The breaks will take two forms: two break days and a wellness day. The breaks on Tuesday, March 9th and Wednesday, March 10th will function as traditional break days; no classes will meet, no assignments will be due, and you simply have these days off.

Additionally, in recognition of the pressures we’re all facing during these extraordinary times—here at Duke and beyond—we will observe a Wellness Day on Monday, April 12th. On Wellness Day, faculty will be encouraged to set aside coursework so that students can engage in activities to enhance their wellbeing. We are working with campus experts to develop Wellness Day activities that are consistent with our ongoing focus on community health and safety. We will provide more guidance about Wellness Day once the spring semester begins.

Please know that these changes are a direct result of the student body and DSG’s advocacy; your efforts and input continue to be essential to University plans at this most unusual time. Good luck with your final exams and assignments. 

Go Duke,

Gary Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Jennifer Francis
Executive Vice Provost
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