College President James Freedman announced last week that the College will begin observing the Memorial Day holiday this spring.
Classes scheduled to meet May 26 will be moved to their x-hours and most College buildings will be closed.
The addition of Memorial Day to the calendar makes seven holidays observed by the College, including Dartmouth-specific holidays.
Freedman said the College does not observe other national holidays like Columbus Day, Election Day and Presidents’ Day because of Dartmouth’s accelerated academic terms.
“We face the problem of getting enough teaching days as possible,” he said.
Previously, the only holiday in Spring term was the Friday before Green Key weekend.
Human Resources Director Roger Brock said another reason for the new Memorial Day holiday is that Freedman “felt that so many of the employees of the College were taking the day off” even without the College closing for the day.
Freedman cited “tradition” as the reason that holidays like Harvard Weekend and Winter Carnival are celebrated in place of some national holidays.
Faculty and students both said they relished the idea of another three-day weekend.
“The more, the better,” Psychology Professor Robert Kleck said.
He said he looked forward to the paid holiday for the staff.
For students, however, the holiday represents something else.
“It’s another day to sober up,” Ivan Cestero ’01 said.
Other students had a more serious view of the holiday. One expressed happiness at the observance of the day, but also urged other students to learn the reason behind it.
“Too many students see this as just a day off from class,” she said.
In the past, some students have complained that the College set a double standard by celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day and not Memorial Day or other national holidays.