Florida Southern College gave students a day off on March 10 in place of this semester’s cancellation of spring break due to COVID-19 precautions.
All classes were cancelled and different events were hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA) throughout the day.
The surprise day off was announced on the SGA Instagram account by members of the executive board.
“We as an SGA executive board have been working extremely hard to get this day off for you because you deserve it,” the announcement said.
Some social media posts referred to this day as “Mocs’ Day Off” while others called it “Mocs Mental Health Day” or “FLW Day Off” in honor of the school’s famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
SGA collaborated with multiple on-campus organizations to make the mental health day possible including the Counseling Center, Wellness Center, Dining Services, Association of Campus Entertainment (ACE) and the Center for Student Involvement (CSI).
Together, the organizations planned a full day of activities scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. so that students have something to do without classes. These activities included meeting canine counselors like Sophie, receiving free giveaway items at different locations, yoga on George’s Green and a Fortnite tournament.
One of the most notable attractions was the Water Dome outside of Roux Library was even filled with hundreds of rubber ducks to replicate the three real ducks who inhabit the fountain, also nicknamed as Frank, Lloyd and Wright.
Lucas Blackwell, SGA’s Vice President of Student Activities as well as President of ACE, worked closely with a lot of the other organizations to set up a lot of events.
“Personally, I worked with the Wellness Center to offer [the] Fortnite tournament, giveaways at the Rock Wall and smoothies at the Moc Dock in addition to having an ACE Destress Writing event on the day off,” Blackwell said. “[SGA] made sure to provide some great programming for our students to enjoy on this day off from classes.”
Katte Vargas, SGA Vice President of Finance, worked with Food Service Director Tim Raible.
They moved the farmers market to the day off instead of the usual Saturday when it’s held, and they came up with some student favorites to put on the menu, like dino nuggets for lunch, and steak and shrimp for dinner.
“I worked closely with [Raible] to ensure that students enjoy themselves on the day off,” Vargas said. “Steak and shrimp is usually done on the weekends, but Mr. Tim Raible thought it would be a great idea to go all out on the day off so he was also able to make that happen.”
The idea of having a rest day every semester or school year is not new to colleges and universities and colleges. Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. has a similar tradition where every semester they have Fox Day, a rest day for their students with no classes.
SGA Executive Vice President Lexi Potter had heard about other colleges and universities having students petition for mental health days because of the lack of spring break and thought it would be a good idea to collaborate with the rest of the executive board to try and do the same here at FSC.
At the end of the day off, SGA made another Instagram announcement to share the news that FLW Day, as it’s been officially named, will become a yearly tradition.
The topic of a singular rest day was brought up to the school’s upper administration, and they were the ones to suggest making it an annual tradition. Together they came up with the idea to have a surprise day off for students every year, with changes in the waterdome being the indicator to when the rest day will take place.
“When I spoke with her [President Anne Kerr] that was what she wanted,” Potter said. “She was hoping that this could be a tradition somewhat like other colleges have.”
The hope for the outcome of these days off is to keep students from burning out and put an emphasis on their mental health, along with letting them know that all their work is being appreciated.
“Students have been understanding about the lack of a spring break due to COVID,” Potter said. “However, we can definitely see them struggling with exhaustion and wanted to ensure that their hard work was seen and respected.”