If you attended class the morning of Good Friday, you probably noticed you were in the minority. With the college shutting down at noon, many professors chose to cancel morning classes. Even if they didn’t, many students still skipped class to catch flights home to be with their families for Easter weekend. Campus had an eerily quiet feeling as the morning progressed, as the people who did show up quickly left after class to drive home or go to religious services.
The lack of attendance to morning classes begs the question: Should there be class on Good Friday at all?
There are two main factors to consider: the meaning of Good Friday itself and the reality of students traveling home to spend Easter weekend with family.
Hillsdale College is a Christian college, and for Christians, Good Friday is the most solemn day of the year. The commemoration of Jesus’ death by crucifixion is remembered by Christians around the world.
While the hours of 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. are certainly the most solemn, the morning hours are still a time of mourning, remembrance, and preparation for Easter Sunday. One could only imagine the outrage if Christmas or Thanksgiving were given a mere half day. If no other holidays are celebrated for half a day, why should Good Friday — a holy day in the truest sense of the word — be treated any differently?
From a purely practical standpoint, having classes on Good Friday is unfair to students and inconvenient for professors. Why should students who just happen to have morning classes have to have a school day, while those with afternoon classes can take off? Why should professors who have identical classes in the morning and afternoon have to rearrange their teaching schedules to account for only afternoon sessions being canceled?
Of course, Hillsdale College isn’t just about practicality. The college’s goal is to pursue the good, the true, and the beautiful. And, for Christians, nothing defines those ideals more than our redemption through Christ’s sacrifice.
Maggie Hroncich is a sophomore studying politics. She is an assistant editor for The Collegian.