Classes on Labor Day?
Some Thoughts and Facts
March 2013
Faculty Senate Proposal
• University will hold classes on Labor Day and the
• University will not hold classes on the Monday and Tuesday
of Thanksgiving week and create a week long Fall Break
similar to Spring Break.
• Both actions remove partial weeks of instruction in the fall
academic calendar.
Why Consider Classes on Labor Day
• A complete week of instruction minimizes disruptions in our
academic offerings and schedule.
• Over 500 once a week lecture/lab/recitation/etc. are on Mondays
during the fall term. Canceling class on this day puts labs/recitations
tied to lectures behind others and causes scheduling challenges for
many departments.
• A break so soon in the semester breaks academic momentum.
• Having classes on Labor Day would minimize the number of
residential students going home the first weekend. This would help
them to better acclimate to, and engage in, campus life.
• Labor Day weekend (if the weather is good) can be a heavy offcampus party weekend in surrounding neighborhoods, so classes
would help reduce this problem for the community.
Why Consider a Week Long
Fall Break at Thanksgiving
• The current partial week of instruction again causes disruptions to
our academic course offerings although not as much because little it
planned for these days.
• Monday and Tuesday of that week have become de facto holidays for
many students and some faculty.
• The longer break would allow greater travel flexibility for our
• Provides an extended window for students to catch up and complete
semester projects before the start of final exams.
• Provides some additional flexibility for faculty and staff to address
non-course related work during this extended period.
Do Other Universities Have
Classes on Labor Day?
• Having class on Labor Day is not typical and this would be a change
at UB
• However, 9 of the 32 SUNY Campuses have classes on Labor Day
• Other examples include Duke, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Colgate,
Vanderbilt, UVa, and Virginia Tech.
• In almost all the examples above, Labor Day is maintained and
recognized as a holiday for most staff.
• At UB, examples of units already working on Labor Day at full staff
include Campus Living, New Student Programs, University Police,
Residential Dining, Student Health, Transportation, and Student
Life. Other service units are partially staffed.
Do We Have Class on Other
State/Federal Holidays that Fall
During the Fall and Spring Terms?
• Yes: Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and Presidents Day
• Having class on these days does not mean that we, as a University, do
not respect these holidays or their significance.
• Similar to Veterans Day, being in session on Labor Day would
provide the University a better opportunity to promote the value of
labor through special events, celebrations, etc.
Ultimately, this is a
Faculty Senate decision that must
weigh the best interests of our
students and all other concerns.