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Wiley College students, employees to get Sacred Pause to rest amid the pandemic

Each student at the Marshall, Texas, school also will receive $500 to be used as they see fit
Beginning Oct. 10, 2021, Wiley College students, faculty members and staffers will enter a...
Beginning Oct. 10, 2021, Wiley College students, faculty members and staffers will enter a Sacred Pause, a weeklong break to focus on rejuvenation.(Christian Piekos)
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 5:54 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2021 at 7:44 PM CDT
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MARSHALL, Texas (KSLA) — Worries about the coronavirus pandemic have placed a heavy burden on the lives of countless people, particularly college students, throughout the ArkLaTex and elsewhere in the country.

Already facing stress normally created by higher education — concerns like student debt and academic success — students were left with more uncertainty due to COVID-19.

That’s why Wiley College is taking a bold move to make sure its students, faculty members and staffers have an opportunity to rest, rejuvenate and recharge. On Oct. 10, the faith-based institution is entering its first Sacred Pause, a chance to do just that, hit pause.

“The rigors of providing high-quality education and first-rate service to students in a new environment while simultaneously juggling the dangers of the pandemic and their personal demands, simply put, have left us exhausted, burnt out and fatigued,” said Dr. Herman Felton, president and CEO of the Marshall, Texas, college. “As a commitment to our teammates’ well-being and in concert with our core beliefs that health and wellness is central to excellence, we believe a Sacred Pause is necessary.”

The weeklong break will offer a series of virtual activities for students, including cooking classes, yoga, book discussions and speakers. Students and staff members are encouraged to unplug and pour into the spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health.

“Since March of 2020, a large portion of our campus community has continued to operate on dual fronts, at home and Wiley College,” Felton said. “What we don’t know are the long-term effects and triggers COVID will have on our mental health.

“But we do know our students, faculty and staff have been through a trauma. And I’m hoping people will take the time to asses who they really are.”

As an added bonus, each student will receive $500 to be used as they see fit.

“This act of kindness toward them was received in so many different ways that really have been heartwarming for me,” Felton said.

Going forward, Wiley College’s Sacred Pause will be instituted each fall semester with a special emphasis on social service.

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