Franklin & Marshall & Martin: F&M should better honor significant holiday

Full Staff Opinion

Our campus was just confronted with several feet of snow. But now, we’re all confronting another, equally bitter-cold truth: we will probably, against all seeming odds, be back in class tomorrow. These colors don’t run, after all; we all know the drill. We all know better than to hope for a snow day. No, F&M will have class. F&M will always have class.

F&M even has class, as we trust you all remember, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Yes, there is some programing in place: morning breakfast, day-long readings in the Steinman College Center, and so on. For most of our community, though, the day seems to move along as any other. People can attend the readings, but answer us this: how many of you actually do? No, for the most part, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at F&M is just another mid-winter Monday. Our offices are open, and our classes are in session.

We’re here to be students. This is true. F&M is a private institution, and it may do as it pleases. This is also true. But what worries us about F&M keeping Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a “day on,” as opposed to a day off, is that it becomes far, far too easy for the holiday to get lost altogether. Most of our campus may just get away with forgetting there’s anything special about January’s third Monday at all. At a College so infamously marked with apathy, so rightly concerned with diversity and racial tension, it’s remarkable to see a day like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day slip almost seamlessly through the cracks.

We aren’t necessarily saying that the thing for F&M to do is just cancel classes altogether. We all know how a total, extra day free of classes goes here, and they normally play to the tune of sleeping and binges, both Netflix and drinking. But there must be some better way to mark Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on this campus. After all, what’s really important here: the class or the cause?

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