With exactly one month until Georgetown Day 2011, many students are already beginning to calculate which of their classes they can afford to skip in order to maximize their time enjoying the day’s festivities.

That mindset, of course, puts the faculty in a tough position. Few professors can sacrifice the limited class time available to them by cancelling a whole day of class, particularly with finals looming. Yet, given the infectious revelry of the day, professors certainly can’t count on usual levels of attendance. Moreover, professors and teaching assistants unlucky enough to have class any time after noon will likely face a group of students who are too inattentive — or too inebriated — to participate meaningfully.

Students consider Georgetown Day to be a de facto holiday. In the 11 years since it began, Georgetown Day has grown into a broad celebration of the campus community and the Georgetown identity. It is an opportunity to take pause between the chaos of midterms and the insanity of finals to recognize and celebrate the joy we feel to be part of the Georgetown family. For students who work hard all semester, it is one of the highlights of spring at Georgetown. Expecting them to curb their enthusiasm for a Friday afternoon lecture or recitation is both unfair and unrealistic.

Declaring Georgetown Day an official university holiday would eliminate those problems by allowing students to bask in the spirit of the day without agonizing over whether it is worth it to play hooky. Moreover, it would ensure that professors do not waste their time and effort preparing for a session that many students will not take seriously. Although it is obviously too late to adjust the academic calendar this year, the administration should choose to either schedule an extra day of class after Georgetown Day or to simply move the holiday to occur after the end of classes before study days begin.By officially recognizing the importance of Georgetown Day holds for students and canceling classes for the day, the university would better serve all members of the campus community. Perhaps by Georgetown Day 2012, the student reeking of their latest Towne purchase won’t be a problem anyone has to deal with.

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