Last Monday, students were given the option not to tend classes in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Observance of the day began as part of a concession to minority students who staged a protest in 1999. The holiday usually falls during our winter break, so this is the first year that administration has had to encounter the issue of scheduling around the holiday. Students will have the day off from classes in the future.

MLK Day is the only holiday that UR observes other than Thanksgiving. Since this day is observed when other days that celebrate different traditions are not, UR should make MLK Day a time to celebrate all aspects of diversity and equality through programming and events. UR can look to nearby Nazareth College’s MLK Day activities as a model, and expand the events to include a universal message of equality, not just the African-American community’s fight.

A day to celebrate diversity of all kinds ? like ethnicity, gender and sexuality ?would be beneficial to all members of the UR community. MLK Day is a logical choice for such a celebration, since it is the only national holiday that celebrates minority interests. However, creating special programming and events would give the day added importance, and signify that the university is committed to celebrating diversity, not just begrudgingly giving in to certain minority student demands.

UR is bringing speakers to campus to explore the spirit of the day, but most of them are coming weeks after the holiday. The fact that neighboring Nazareth managed to get King’s widow to speak on MLK Day proves that big-name speakers are available, and UR should make the effort to get someone to come to our campus to celebrate.

UR needs to make the effort to honor the day the way it deserves ? not in an absentminded fashion that makes the administration appear uninterested in preserving Martin Luther King’s memory.



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Recording shows University statement inaccurate about Gaza encampment meeting

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Is it bad? Definitely not! But I found myself continually checking my phone to see how many tracks were left.