UI USG passes legislation in support of mental health days

The resolution supports the creation of two mental health days in addition to absences already allowed in the current College of Liberal Arts and Sciences attendance policy.


Alex Snyder

Senators listen to a speaker during a USG Meeting at the Iowa Memorial Union on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.

Archie Wagner, News Reporter

The University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution supporting the creation of student mental health days on Tuesday.

The resolution, introduced by Sen. Jake Wicks, proposed adding two mental health days for students in addition to the absences already allocated in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ attendance policy. 

Mental health days are not a completely new practice to the UI. There were proposals in the works between the undergraduate student government and the administration to implement mental health days to alleviate student stress back in 2020. 

In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, attendance policy can vary based on what is outlined in each course’s syllabus. 

“We wanted to pass this resolution, so that way we know that then USG stands behind the inclusion of mental health days,” Wicks said. 

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The academic affairs committee of undergraduate student government is meeting with the Undergraduate Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee on March 2. 

“The resolution goes through and talks about what mental health is and how it is an issue that is prevalent and persists on campus with undergraduate students,” Wicks said. 

The two mental health days would not be able to be used to skip or get out of taking an exam, and any exceptions would have to be made with the individual teacher on a case-by-case basis, he said. 

Sen. Addison Eckard spoke in support of the resolution. 

“Obviously, this is something a lot of students are really interested in,” Eckard said. “I think it’s a great bill.”