by Miriam Wolf
Students are not the first thing that comes to mind when most people consider Labor Day. This is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, Labor Day was created as a day to recognize the hard work done by all American workers who make our lives better.
However, Labor Day has a deeper impact on students and school communities than one may initially think.
Educating takes a lot of work and effort. Teachers need to plan lessons, buy supplies, and create assignments, not to mention grade papers and tests, provide additional help for struggling students, and balance their private lives.
That, to me, sounds a lot like Labor Day. Teachers invest a lot of time into their jobs and their students, and Concordia University is known for having professors who are attentive and caring. These professors deserve to have a day off in thanks for all of the hard work they do for us and for the university as a whole.
Professors are not the only people who would benefit from having Labor Day off. Many students also work, sometimes several jobs, on top of school, extra-curriculars, faith life, and social life. Though students are rarely working full time jobs, the time spent working can still take a toll when work adds to the ever-growing pile of assignments and due dates. Student workers would also gain rest and relaxation from having Labor Day off from classes.
Furthermore, students yearn to be able to spend even one more day off of school. A poll showed that 83% of students believed that we should have Labor Day off. When asked why, responses varied from catching up on homework or sleep, going to the lake, celebrating birthdays, and upholding family camping traditions. By not observing Labor Day, we run the risk of forcing students to miss out on important events or even a simple day of rest.
Students also commented on how Labor Day functions outside of Concordia.
“The whole point of Concordia is preparing students to teach, serve, and lead in the church and world.” said senior Brandon Timoney. “I think part of that involves making a school as business-like as possible.”
Senior RJ Acomb said “It makes me very sad. I feel like I’m being forced to labor on a day that’s all about taking a break from labor.”
Of course, not everybody agrees with that statement. Senior Brett Mueller said “I like school, so I’m happy.”
Dr. Laurie Zum Hoffe noted that she would rather have the full week of Thanksgiving off instead of Labor Day.
According to the Concordia University Nebraska Instagram page, leisure is not the intended labor of Labor Day. Instead, it is a day that should be taken to honor various workers for what they do. In response to that, I ask- how do you expect your staff to feel honored when you won’t even give them a day off?