This Monday, colleges across the country will celebrate American workers by designating Labor Day a school holiday — Hillsdale will not.
Designating Labor Day as a school holiday would increase students’ appreciation not only of the actual holiday but the staff of Hillsdale as well.
Labor Day dates back to the 19th century, a time of poor working conditions and weak labor relations. Protests, strikes, and riots came to a head in 1894 when the workers from the Pullman Palace Car went on strike after cut wages and intense firings. Thanks to a widespread company boycott, Chicago traffic fell into chaos and national troops had to intervene. As a peace offering, President Grover Cleveland signed Labor Day into law as a national holiday.
Hillsdale should observe the holiday so students can reflect on the progress in worker’s rights and representation over time.
The staff of the college are the backbone of Hillsdale. From the cafeteria to the classrooms, Hillsdale College is packed with hardworking people who keep the college running smoothly and efficiently. Too often, students take for granted the incredible employees and fail to give them the appreciation they deserve.
By setting aside a holiday and holding an event to celebrate the staff, Hillsdale College could send a clear message to students and workers that Hillsdale appreciates the support of its staff and employees.
Labor Day occurs at a strategic time of the year, a little less than two weeks after classes begin. Often early September is when the reality of new classes sets in, as students settle on which classes will best fit their schedule. Many students are still switching classes or adjusting to school after the freedom of summer. Labor Day could be a mark of transition, separating the uncertain beginning of the semester from the stable routine of the next few months.
And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want an extra day off?