Let's Celebrate Easter also on Monday

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Dear President Ryken,

I am writing this petition because I’d like to request that as a college we have April 17th, Easter Monday, off.  Here are a few reasons why I believe it is important for us to have that day off.

  • Easter celebrates the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  This is a very central event in history, but it is also very key to the beliefs of Christianity.  With more time to celebrate and reflect on the resurrection, students will be able to grow in their faith and center Christ at the core of their belief.  By having Monday off it frees students (and professors as well) to really focus on the day without the thoughts of the following week.
  • Wheaton College gives Good Friday off to have extended time for students, and family to celebrate the crucifixion of Christ and perhaps to spend time with their family to rejoice in the great victory of the resurrection.  However, if students wish to return home to be with their family, they will inevitably have to return to school on Sunday to not miss classes, minimizing the amount of time that they will have to rejoice with their family over the Resurrection.  
  • Some professors have assignments due on Easter Monday, but completing these assignments takes time away from students to celebrate with their family.  With an extra day off, they would have more time to rejoice in the Resurrection with their family, but also time to complete assignments allowing them to put in the necessary effort to do a good job. I realize that working ahead is also a solution to this but inevitably some people have a lot of obligations as they return.

I am aware that this request may seem unusual - but if I might explain the cultural upbringing that my family has that triggers this thought for us.  In Italy, Easter Monday is one of the biggest “holidays” of the year. In fact, it is a day that is noted for family picnics, enjoying spring, and going on walks.  Some say that it is in the tradition of the men walking on the road as they met Jesus after his resurrection.  For me I have noticed the difference in being able to focus on Easter by it being a multi-day celebration - a little more different than another Sunday by giving extra time to focus on it. Instead, in college, if we travel to family even Sunday itself is rushed.

Perhaps it is much too big of a deal to add another day off to the calendar, or too complicated of a process, but I thought I’d ask.

I hope that you will consider this request on our behalf.
And I hope you will have a very happy Easter!

Max G. Schaafsma


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