Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Haverford College has broken tradition and decided to make Martin Luther King Day a recognized holiday, and Bryn Mawr is poised to follow suit, according to a November 6 report in the Bi-College News.
For Haverford, classes will be cancelled that day, and all other faculty, staff, and administration will recieve the day off with pay. Bryn Mawr is still ironing out changes and working on scheduling difficulties. Administrators say the Tri-College calendar poses the greatest challenge, especially since Swarthmore has classes scheduled for MLK day.
Will this change be coming to Swarthmore? Apparently, there has not yet been any discussion of it. Dean of Student Life Myrt Westphal says that the only holiday Swarthmore has celebrated during the academic year is Thanksgiving, and that those two days are made up for during Reading Week in December. “Some folks don’t teach on Labor Day or Martin Luther King day, but those are individual choices,” she said in an e-mail.
Swarthmore Student Council President Peter Gardner ’08 says Student Council has not received any information about the proposal, but would is interested in the BiCo calendar, and how administration and the student body are responding to the change.
Though Swarthmore students may still have to trudge to class on the first Monday after Winter Break, Student Council is still working on last year’s proposal for “Thanksgiving in the Spring.” The initiative overwhelmingly passed a student referendum in December 2006, with 977 students voting in favor and only 83 voting against. As of September, Student Council is still discussing the plan with faculty and administration. Once the new plan has been formulated, it will be brought again to a student referendum for approval.