2 ‘well-being breaks’ for winter semester up for University of Michigan regents vote

ANN ARBOR, MI — Two “well-being breaks” for students in February and March on all three campuses will go before the University of Michigan Board of Regents.

The regents will vote at their Dec. 3 meeting to adopt these days to replace the spring break that’s been canceled on the university’s winter semester calendar.

The “well-being breaks” for the Ann Arbor and Flint campuses would be Feb. 24 and March 23, while the Dearborn campus would have days off on Feb. 25 and 26, according to the regent’s agenda.

In September, UM modified its calendar to eliminate spring break for the winter 2021 semester. Several other schools, including Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University, also eliminated spring break from their schedules.

However, CMU and MSU added “wellness days” to their schedules to give students a short break. CMU students will get five days off and MSU students will get three midweek days off over the course of the semester. Still, several students said they though those days aren’t nearly as beneficial as a formal spring break.

Students voice mental health concerns as universities cancel spring breaks

After a fall semester that saw more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases between September and mid-November, UM asked its students to stay home for the winter semester to reduce density in university student housing. There will be mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing for undergraduate students who need to be on the Ann Arbor campus, as well as increases in asymptomatic testing for all members of the campus community.

University of Michigan urges students not to return to campus for winter semester

The regents will also discuss renaming the Edward Henry Kraus Natural Science Building to the School of Kinesiology Building.

Kraus was a dean of the College of Literature, Sciences and the Arts from 1933-45, but with the relocation of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Department of Molecular, Cellular and Development Biology, the Kraus Building no longer houses any LSA functions, according to the agenda item.


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Look To Employees’ Performance To Check On Their Well-Being

Founder & CEO of Centrical, the next-gen employee engagement and performance management platform.

Covid-19 has had a major impact on employees’ sense of well-being. There’s the nagging sense of isolation while working apart from co-workers. The whittling down of any sort of work-life balance. And then there’s burnout, something Deloitte says 77% of the employees they surveyed have experienced at their current job, often multiple times.

A survey by WebMD Health Services found the effects of the pandemic on employees’ well-being has been the greatest on the youngest of the working population. Nine in 10 Gen Z employees report it has had a negative impact on their health and well-being. Older generations have also experienced challenges but to a lesser degree. For example, 70% of baby boomers in the workforce say the pandemic has been harmful to their well-being.

As a result, the call for more and better programs to support employee well-being has risen in frequency and volume. However, if you wait to act until after employees’ health and well-being have been adversely affected, the path to bring them back will be longer and harder to travel.

The WebMD research noted employees were not eating as they should and were exercising less often, drinking and smoking more, and seeing relationships suffer. These matters will be with us as long as the pandemic is omnipresent and will likely continue once Covid-19 is under control. The view that when things return to “normal,” all will be fine is false. We won’t be going back.

Instead, we’ll be entering a “new normal.” Gartner recently revealed that about 40% of workers will continue to work from home. What’s more, about 25% will operate in a hybrid model, spending some time working from home and some time from the office. That will affect the comfort of knowing who employees will see at work and who they’ll physically interact with, which makes monitoring and managing employees tricky.

Before the pandemic, managers could look up from their desks and see which team members were dealing with something that could be affecting their well-being. Those managers could then walk over to have a face-to-face conversation to better understand what was going on. Of course, that can’t happen when teams are working remotely.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways managers can monitor the well-being of employees working remotely. For example, an employee engagement and performance management platform can be helpful for large numbers of employees, particularly when they interact with customers on a regular basis and perform tasks that can be readily measured.

Another method is scheduling one-on-ones where work-related topics don’t dominate the conversation. Think of it as a virtual coffee break, allowing for a relaxed dialog that enables you to get a read on an employee’s mood. It’s also helpful to note when employees send and reply to emails. This can be an indicator that WFH employees are having exceptionally long days. If there’s a pattern, have a conversation to learn what’s going

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The Social Change Fund And Chopra Global Democratize Wellbeing In Education

Talk about star power. The whole health company Chopra Global founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra, and The Social Change Fund, a foundation founded by NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade have formed a partnership to offer urgently needed self-care resources to educators across the U.S. as they do their best to be the first line of support to teachers and students.

While the U.S. education system has found itself in the crosshairs of the political season many of its educators are struggling to adapt to new norms. Many are working 15-hour days, adjusting to the new normal of remote education. The responsibility they carry is immense. In addition to learning new skills to teach in a new way, they are the first line of defense for a population of learners who are struggling to find a sense of wellbeing and equilibrium during Covid-19.

Both teachers and students are teetering on the precipice of a healthcare crisis, and in particular, marginalized populations and specifically minority children are feeling the brunt of it. The collaboration between Chopra Global and The Social Change Fund aims to democratize wellbeing through notable scholars and societal icons.

I asked NBA-All Star Chris Paul about the value of providing marginalized populations methods to cope with ongoing anxiety?

According to Paul, “Mental health and wellbeing is a critical issue impacting BIPOC communities and it’s proven that racial minorities in the U.S. are less likely to access mental health services because of cultural and socioeconomic barriers. The pandemic has only exacerbated opportunity gaps that put marginalized communities at a disadvantage. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and teachers play a critical role in shaping and preparing them for their future.”

He points to learning and development as disruptors for students across the country stating educators have had to adjust and transition to distance learning during the pandemic.

Paul continued, “Many are dealing with added stress, anxiety and fear, which is why it’s more important than ever to ensure they have access to tools and resources for mental health and wellness maintenance to cultivate healthier communities and advance our healing and growth.”

NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony shared, with me, why they have chosen to focus their efforts on teachers. Anthony said, “Teachers have the essential role of helping to shape the minds of the next generation and our future leaders, and given the challenging year we’ve had, this partnership is more important than ever. We need to ensure we are supporting the heroes of our underserved communities and equipping them with the tools they need to prioritize their own mental and emotional health.”

As part of the partnership, Chopra Global and The Social Change Fund have teamed with a number of organizations that support teachers in communities serving large minority

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