Labor on Labor Day

In case you forgot, it is time to pack away all your white clothes until Memorial Day. Labor Day was on Monday, after all.

On Monday, Sept. 6, staff and students came to Concordia for a business-as-usual day. The college Instagram posted a picture that day to show the institution’s support for the holiday.

“‘Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’ — Harvey Mackay. Cobbers, this #LaborDay we are celebrating your hard work. Remember to take time to rest — there is value in both working hard and resting. You need both. #cordmn.”

Students have sounded off both in the comments of the post and offline.

“Uhhh, how can we rest for Labor Day when we still have classes? Just curious,” said Robert Alvarado.

“I enjoyed my day of rest! My rest was 3 classes and plenty of homework for each,” said Alec Hovland.

“Take some time to rest— Is that why we had class all day?” said Will Jacobson.

Greta Leines found the post inconsiderate to the students and staff that were told to celebrate the day without being given any time to do so.

“If you’re going to have school in session on Labor Day, just don’t mention it.”

The first Monday of September usually falls on the second full week of classes at Concordia. Andie Kassenborg shared a story her mom has told about the risk of a long weekend so early in the semester because students might stay home. 

“My mom’s college roommate went home for the long weekend and never came back,” said Kassenborg.

Kassenborg said that parents and administrative staff may view a long weekend so early in the semester as a risk for students who may be on the fence about staying at their college. While it might not be the most popular opinion among students, not canceling classes for Labor Day may be in their best interest.

Educational institutions around Minnesota including the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University did not cancel classes either.

Non-observation of Labor Day happens at private universities all across the country. In Michigan, Hillsdale College went forward with a regular day of classes in 2021. The college’s online newspaper, The Collegian, published an article on Sept. 2 titled “Cancel classes on Labor Day.”

“Hillsdale should observe the holiday so students can reflect on the progress in worker’s rights and representation over time,” wrote first-year student Nathan Stanish.

Hillsdale’s classes were still in session on Labor Day.

Pleas for the cancelation of classes do not always fall flat. Swarthmore College in Philadelphia was criticized in 2015 for not canceling classes on Labor Day.

“By not recognizing the holiday, the college overlooks the historical significance of all that Labor Day represents in the same way that had previously been the case for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day,” wrote then-student Lindsay Holcomb in the college’s online newspaper.

On Labor Day in 2021, Swarthmore held no classes.

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