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Ana Vasquez –Staff Writer
On Tuesday, Nov. 27, Dordt College announced that Students from Arizona, Texas, and Southern California will be excused from classes when temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Students [from warm climates] are just miserable when they come to Dordt because they miss seeing the sun. Being from the west coast is worse than being a transfer student from Antarctica,” said mental health counselor, Dr. Amy Phillips.
She noted that 82.5 percent of all students she sees in the winter have mental health concerns that can be linked to weather conditions.
“In my mind, excusing students from class is a simple fix,” Dr. Phillips said.
Juliette Martin, a sophomore from Waco, Texas, noted that “being excused from class [when it’s cold outside] is the best thing that’s happened to me since freshman year. I feel so blessed to go to a school where professors truly care about my health and well-being.”
In recent months, research has shown that a lack of Vitamin D can lead to adverse health effects such as depression, anxiety, AIDS and an early death. Dordt is doing everything in its power to combat this issue.
Although some students will definitely be excused from classes in the spring semester, snow tunnels constructed over Christmas break will also help students avoid the safety hazards that winter presents.
The tunnels will have special UV lights to help combat the Vitamin D deficiency epidemic.
“Creating a UV tunnel across campus is the best way that we can be good stewards of our resources… we are doing an excellent job of welcoming students from all over the globe,” said Aaron Bart, head chaplain at Dordt College.
The new policy will impact 34 percent of Dordt’s student population and will take effect immediately.