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Class on Labor Day

Labor day at Bluefield College progresses as any normal day – classes are held, the offices are open and the cafeteria is still serving food.

Lydia Freeman

September 3, 2010

Labor day at Bluefield College progresses as any normal day – classes are held, the offices are open and the cafeteria is still serving food.

 

While most students still attended classes on Labor day, many asked why BC did not allow a day off. Dr. Robert Shippey, vice president for academic affairs and enrollment manager, is in charge of creating BC's academic calendar, and he provided the school's reason behind this policy.

 

“The board of Trustees determined that it would be better to have class of Labor day in exchange for having an extra day on Thanksgiving,” said Shippey. One goal of our college is to have 78-80% retention. Labor day holiday has a negative impact on retention. In the long term, this is for the students ' best interest.”

 

The academic calendar is approved and finalized by Olive. The BC Board of Trustee also puts input into the making of the calendar.

 

“The Board mandates class on Labor Day and both Dr. Olive and I are in support of that decision,” said Shippey.

 

This decision prevented students and faculty alike from spending the holiday with family. Natasha Wood, a transfer student, went to Portsmouth, Va. Labor day weekend to visit her brother.

 

“It cut time with family short,” said Wood. “All the public schools had the day off. It was a long drive for that short of a visit.”

 

Danielle Perservati, a freshman at BC, said that many students still went home for the weekend.

 

Even so, faculty members such as Crystal Kieloch, the director of the Academic Center for Excellence, agree that it is best to have classes on Labor day.

 

“Although students do not think the Labor day holiday has a negative impact, I feel that it allows the students to establish a solid routine, which will positively impact the student,” said Kieloch. “First semester is crucial for freshmen. It sets the tone for the rest of their academic career.”

 

Although Kieloch agrees with Shippey that class on Labor day is positive, Dr. Rob Merritt feels that it would be better to have the day off.

 

“Students have already been in class a few weeks,” said Merritt. “I feel it would have been a nice time for them to spend time with friends and families. Most of my students came to class that day, but it seemed kind of sad.”

 

Merritt had to cancel plans to attend an event because of Labor day classes. Dr. Cynthia Bascom also had to alter her plans.

 

“My parents, my 79 year old parents, visited me from Ohio,” said Bascom. “We had a nice weekend, a great cookout. But I had to send them home on Monday morning. It was a little sad to see them go, but that's ok because my work is important too.”

 

Kieloch pointed out that while no one is happy to work on a holiday, having the day before thanksgiving off is nice.

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