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Northwestern to Cancel Classes on King Day

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April 26, 2006 | by Alan K. Cubbage

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will cancel all classes in order to enhance campus programming about race, diversity and inequality, as well as provide additional community service opportunities on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, starting in the 2006-2007 academic year, University officials announced today. Northwestern previously had canceled classes for three hours at mid-day on King Day.

University leaders will seek advice from the ML King Day Planning Committee on the Evanston campus and the Dream Committee on the Chicago campus on the best ways to enhance programming and provide service opportunities with area organizations as part of the celebration of King Day. Both committees will provide opportunities for student, faculty and staff participation.

“We hope that students, faculty and staff will take advantage of the opportunity to engage in community service,” said Northwestern President Henry S. Bienen. “By canceling classes for the entire day and developing additional service opportunities, we hope to enable our students to both reflect on the legacy of Dr. King and the challenges we face as a university and a society in the 21st century.

“I believe that the MLK planning committee and the Dream committee have mounted consistently excellent programs over the last seven years using the three-hour academic 'pause.' I want to challenge the university community - faculty, students and staff - to deepen and broaden our understanding of and our commitment to Dr. King's dream.”

Although classes will not be held, the University's administrative offices will be open during regular business hours and all support operations will operate on a normal weekday schedule. The day will not be a University scheduled holiday, but individuals who want to observe the day may use one of their personal floating holidays already provided to take paid time off for such occasions. Administrative supervisors should allow staff members who wish to participate in community service activities and/or attend the King Day events on campus to do so.

Classes at all levels - undergraduate, graduate, professional school and continuing studies - will be canceled that day and evening.

Topics: University