SLU students appeal for academic break

Published October 31, 2021, 12:00 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Students from Saint Louis University (SLU) held a candlelight protest Saturday night, Oct. 30, to appeal for a break from online classes and academic requirements.

(Photo courtesy of SLU Dasig)

Hundreds of SLU students gathered in front of the University’s main gate on Saturday night to call for an academic break.

In an open letter to SLU admin, SLU Supreme Student Council lamented that their calls for an academic break are “continuously ignored.”

“Two years of online-based learning and two years of having little to no compassion for your students. Despite endless calls for #AcademicBreakNowSLU, the administration has once again failed to show its students compassion: the very principle we are taught as students of the University,” the letter read.

“Despite the goal to create Louisian professionals that are excellent in their craft, the question of will you still be able to produce quality professionals if a majority of them are working Sundays through Saturdays due to a never-ending stream of requirements resonate now more than ever. Will your students be able to perform to the best of their ability when they see that there are no breaks in sight?,” it further read.

On Saturday, the SLU student council and other student councils in Baguio City submitted a request for a city-wide academic break to the City Council.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement issued on Sunday, Oct. 31, SLU assured that the needs of the students “are taken into account in the context of the challenges of flexible learning while making sure that quality education is at the forefront of their learning.”

“The various units in the University have always remained steadfast to support not only the academic needs but more importantly their non-academic needs, such as mental health, welfare, and safety. These units work closely with academic deans, department heads, and faculty for referrals of students with special and particular needs in order for them to feel that they are not alone and that we are in this together,” it underscored.

SLU added that the peaceful request of the student body for academic break has “quickly escalated by unverified information pertaining to cases of self-harm” which has caused “an unnecessary uproar in an otherwise peaceful request.”

It also reminded the public to refrain from making and sharing unverified information pertaining to the sensitive issue.

Prior to the candlelight protest, the SLU said it has already begun a dialogue with the representatives of its student council to thresh out their request for an academic break, and a follow-up meeting between the two parties is scheduled on Nov. 9.

“Rest assured that requests are embraced with understanding and utmost compassion. We thus request for everyone’s sobriety as we navigate towards a resolution that is fair, just, and humane.”

The #AcademicBreakNOWSLU also became one of the trending topics on Twitter on Saturday.