MLK Day -bkm -jcr -dlh

Jinglin Huang

For the first time, Lawrentians celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a day off the academic calendar. This day commemorates the birth of the great American civil-rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who fought for equality, freedom, and dignity for all peoples through nonviolence.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is legally recognized as a federal holiday. So, why did the school body only decide to cancel classes now? According to Assistant Dean of Students for Multicultural Affairs Rod Bradley, it was a student-initiated decision to change the academic calendar. Students had voiced their opinions on the matter through the various student representative bodies.
Three years ago, the standing committee in LUCC promoting diversity on campus, or the Multicultural Affairs Committee, passed a resolution requesting that the university celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This resolution was then presented to the faculty. They voted in favor of canceling classes to mark this important day. Since the academic calendar was already set for the following two years, the next available date was during the 2004*****(en dash here, no space)******2005 academic year.
With this change, the usual three-day midterm reading period on the Thursday, Friday, and Monday at the end of the sixth week of the term is reduced. “We took the Monday break and moved it to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day so that we would not reduce the number of class days in the term,” wrote Dean of Faculty Kathleen Murray, in an e-mail interview.
Members of the faculty in the president’s multicultural affairs committee also wanted this change to the calendar. Said Dean Murray, “it was a decision, encouraged by the President’s Committee on Multicultural Affairs, to join the rest of the country in honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. on this particular day.”
Some past and present members include Associate Dean Gerald Seaman, Assistant Dean of Students for Multicultural Affairs Rod Bradley, and Professors Karen Hoffmann, Patricia Vilches, and Jane Yang.
So how did the Lawrence community do on Martin Luther King Jr. Day? About 90 students signed up to volunteer at various locations around Appleton, including the Fox Valley Emergency Shelter, the Wind River nature reserve, the Sexual Assault Crisis Center, and the Fox Valley Literacy Coalition. The Lawrence campus also hosted elementary school students, who students and members of faculty taught about diversity and tolerance.
Other students chose to remember the day by raising awareness through the window campaign. Students were given posters in their mailboxes, which they could affix to their windows.