Written by: Yvanna Hammen-Alvarez
For the past two years, Southern Adventist University’s administration chose to give employees an entire week for Thanksgiving break. In previous years, Southern’s campus was closed Thanksgiving week from noon on Wednesday through Friday, according to Joylynn Scott, administrative assistant in the President’s Office.
President Ken Shaw said he decided to give all employees a week-long break this year after discussing the idea with key vice presidents. Shaw said this decision was made to give employees time to work on their mental health, practice self-care and be with their families.
“This has been a challenging year for our faculty and staff, as well as [for] our students,” Shaw said.
Shaw made the announcement to faculty and staff in a video showing him going down a zipline while declaring that there would be a week-long Thanksgiving break.
Retention Services Coordinator Cheri Durst said she appreciates that Shaw and other administrators are demonstrating concern for the wellbeing of faculty and staff by granting them a full week for the holiday.
“Time away is always good,” Durst wrote in an email to the Accent before break. “The most important thing to me is knowing that someone recognizes and appreciates the extra effort that we’ve all put in during these crazy times.”
Biology Professor Joyce Azevedo said she looks forward to holidays as much or even more than students might.
“Last year was the first year that not only faculty and students but also staff had the full week off, and now will be the second year in a row,” Azevedo wrote in an email to the Accent before break. “I think it is a great idea; it should certainly be a boon to everyone’s mental health.”