Campus offices close in observation of Labor Day, classes remain in session

Maddie Liotta, Staff Writer

 

Labor Day, a federal American holiday celebrated on the first Monday of September each year to recognize the hard work and well-being of our nation, was observed Sept. 5 by many universities across the nation with the cancellation of classes and closing of offices. 

However, classes for the University’s students and faculty were still in session, leading many students and faculty to wonder why the administration chose to close many of the offices on campus despite still holding classes.

“Classes are held on Labor Day to achieve both the required number of calendar days to meet regulatory requirements regarding length of semester and to provide equal numbers of each week day for instructional purposes,” Associate Provost Robert Midkiff said.

Midkiff, when devising this year’s academic calendar, needed to balance students’ unwillingness to give up their fall break and faculty’s insistence that Labor Day classes were necessary.

“Many trade-offs [are] necessary in constructing a coherent calendar … as with many complex issues, striving to attain a workable solution that can be accepted by most constituents on campus requires compromise. This is one of those cases,” Midkiff said.

Multiple of the administrative and support offices remained closed on Sept. 5 because Labor Day is classified as a holiday in the staff handbook.  

Many students do understand the decision to not observe the federal holiday by cancelling classes.  

“While I want a day off as much as anyone, Bucknell is a private institution, so it does not need to observe federal holidays like Labor Day,” Ryan House ’19 said.

Class sessions on Labor Day also directly affect professors.

“On the one hand I understand the need for a consistent schedule; on the other hand, holidays briefly suspend the competitive market economy and render everybody equal, nobody being able to exploit another, nobody competing against another, but, alas, that is an ideal that seems no longer feasible today,” professor of English Harold Schweizer said.

During the fall 2017 semester, classes will again remain in session on Labor Day.

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