Gator Recharge Days (2/25 & 3/24) and Graduate Student Wellness

February 4, 2021

Dear UF Graduate Community,

I hope that the first weeks of the spring semester have been safe, healthy, and productive. Now more than ever, it is important for our community to support each other and take intentional steps to protect our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Dr. D'Andra Mull, Vice President for Student Affairs, has called for Gator Recharge Days, to be observed on Thursday, February 25 and Wednesday, March 24. These days will provide our graduate students, faculty and staff with a well-deserved break and the opportunity to renew their energy to finish the semester strong. I would like to extend my full support for participation in this initiative and encourage all deans and faculty to limit academic courses, assignments, exams, and labs on these dates. UF Student Affairs, in collaboration with Academic Affairs, UF Performing Arts, Wellness Collaborative, and Student Government will offer a variety of large-scale, physically distant events and activities on the two recharge days. Please monitor your UF email for additional details and information regarding these activities. For more details, please see the January 22, 2021 message on this webpage: Messages from the Vice President.

Beyond the bounds of those two Recharge Days, I encourage the following measures throughout the semester to support graduate student wellness in our teaching and research activities across the university:

  • Do not require students to keep cameras on during Zoom meetings and classes.
  • Limit the duration of course sessions whenever possible.
  • Exercise added flexibility in granting extensions and providing accommodations.
  • Lift grade penalties for late assignments (if discussed beforehand).

It is my hope that in the coming weeks and months, as vaccines become more widely distributed, our campus will be able to return to the pre-pandemic environment. However, we all need to continue doing our part to keep each other safe: wash our hands frequently, practice physical distancing and wear a mask.

Henry T. Frierson, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President and Dean
The Graduate School
University of Florida