In respect of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day classes should be canceled at CNU Jan 21 2019

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Marckel Bonds
Marckel Bonds signed this petition

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed January 21, 2019, is a day historically dedicated to the sacrificial efforts of MLK in his lifetime, as reflected by his activism for social reform until his assassination. In respect to this day, Dr. MLK’s punishing efforts that cost him his life, the continuing racial tensions of America today, and the dignity and worth of the holiday to the Black community; most of academia and the business world refrain from having class or work on the 3rd Monday of January meant to honor Dr. King’s birthday.
Christopher Newport University (CNU) claims to be committed to providing an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community (despite race, sex, ability, etc.), and maintains this statement while establishing that MLK Day is not significant enough to be honored through ceasing CNU’s tradition of mandatory attendance of student and staff alike on this holiday. Various nearing schools, however, do NOT require attendance in respect of this American Federal Holiday (i.e VCU, ODU, HamptonU, Hampton Roads Public Schools, etc); and some additionally hold some sort of community-inclusive service in honor the holiday. MLK Day, unlike most national federal holidays, is also a National Day of Service in America. There are only a handful of recognized ‘holidays’ that are simultaneously National Days of Service (i.e 9/11 or National Service Week). Having classes on MLK Day would complicate and restrict staff, their children, and students from participating in meaningful service and memorial events that celebrate MLK’s contribution to the Black plight in America. Not to mention, CNU is a state school. So are employees receiving time and a half or some sort of extra incentive for being required to work on federal holidays? 

Predicted arguments from the university will all surround the inprobable necessity for extra snow  or hurricane days, or causes of a snowball effect, however; if the university is serious about its statement of Diversity (Policy #1005, updated May 2018), then its actions should reflect it through administering this 24 hour holiday and service day. We understand that the academic calendar is voted on 2 years in advance by the board of visitors, but I doubt that even half of the board is of the Black community or feels the experiences of an everyday minority CNU student. Additionally, this is not the first argument presented by the CNU student body in the last 2 years. Please join my peers and I by signing this petition, that requests that classes/work be canceled and non-mandatory for CNU students and staff, as the first step toward more inclusiveness at my PWI. I will also be developing an event for this day of service as past years have been nonsatisfactory to the majority of CNU. My goal is, but not limited to, 5000 signatures by 1/21/19.

Thank you.