March Wellness Break

March 4, 2021

Dear Cornell Community,

While there will not be a traditional spring break this semester, the first of two planned wellness breaks for students will be held next week on Tuesday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 10. During these wellness days, we urge students to take the opportunity to rest and seek out stress-relieving activities. Though the university will remain open, to the extent possible, faculty and staff are encouraged to make time for self-care as well.

Academic Policies for Wellness Break

As a reminder, there are to be no graded assignments due or exams given during the wellness breaks (March 9-10 and April 23-26) or the days immediately following (March 11 and April 27). We ask that faculty who may have mistakenly scheduled graded academic activities for these dates to please make and announce adjustments right away to reduce stress for students, and we encourage students to speak up if such adjustments are needed but have not been made.

Information regarding academic practices for wellness breaks is included in both the student and faculty sections of Cornell’s COVID-19 website and information was previously communicated to faculty in email updates about the spring 2021 semester and the mental health review.

Student Activities During Wellness Break

On March 9 and 10, students are invited to enjoy Winter Days on the Arts Quad from 4-6 p.m., hosted by the Office of Campus Activities. During these events, students can receive a free succulent to brighten up their room, warm up with friends around toasty fire pits, play fun outdoor activities (weather dependent), enjoy grab-and-go snacks, get free masks from COVID-19 Peer Ambassadors, and much more. As always, attendees are required to wear masks, maintain physical distance, and follow all university public safety policies.

Other ways to engage and stay active during the wellness break include:

Stay Local

Traveling remains one of the biggest risks to contracting and spreading COVID-19. Students residing in the Ithaca area are expected to remain in Ithaca for the duration of the semester with limited-to-no personal travel outside of the region – this includes over wellness days. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to remain local to help curb the spread of the virus.

Health and Safety

Even with a national decrease in COVID-19 cases, the virus is still prevalent and poses a real risk to those who have not yet had an opportunity to be vaccinated. We have already seen that even small group gatherings can lead to big increases in positive cases. Remember the rules: wear a mask, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, stay local and avoid large gatherings. Students in the Ithaca area and employees approved to work on campus are required to comply with all Daily Check health assessment and surveillance testing requirements over wellness days.

We anticipate that these wellness days will be a welcome break for you during this spring semester, and we hope you are able to take the time to rest and recharge safely.


Ryan Lombardi
Vice President for Student and Campus Life

Lisa Nishii
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education