From our perspective: A calendar with no holidays

As college students, we can’t help but notice other students heading home for their fall break. Here at Radford University, no such break exists. In fact, when the academic calendar is closely examined, it’s clear that RU has very few breaks and scheduled holidays.

A small calendar full of open days. Image from Creative Commons.

The only holidays that RU gives students during the fall and spring semesters (when most students are in attendance) are the week-long break at Thanksgiving and Martin Luther King Day in January, shortly after our return from the month-long winter break between semesters. Among the federal and state holidays not represented during these two semesters are Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and George Washington’s birthday.

During Wintermester, Maymester, and the three summer sessions offered, there are also some holiday differences. Of these, RU recognizes Christmas, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. Unlike the fall and spring semesters, these are the only holidays expressed on the federal and state calendars.

I myself would personally like to know who picked which holidays not to include on the university calendar, and on what basis the decisions were made. I’ve heard multiple remarks made questioning the holidays off, but no one who really asked the right people who could answer the questions.  Students should get to have part in deciding what days are important and deserve holidays. The students do make up a large percentage of who the calendar affects, so it would make sense for us to want to be involved in the calendar creation.

Some in opposition will be sure to point out that having less holidays might help with having a short semester or account for weather delays. Although, as every RU student knows, school closing is extremely rare — whether it be snow, sleet or rain, classes are almost always in session.

Like most students would agree, we think we should have just a few more days off built into the calendar, because sometimes us students need more than just a two-day weekend and there are plenty of holidays that could be given.

For anyone who is interested in seeing all the calendars laid out, they are available on RU’s website, the state Department of Human Resource Management and the federal Office of Personal Management.