For many colleges, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is just a day off. But Ithaca College is one of a select number of schools that provide programming and actively celebrate the day.
The college should be commended for giving this holiday the recognition it deserves.
According to the event’s Web page, former president Peggy Williams had declared the day as a “Day on, not off” in 2008. The MLK Campus-Wide Celebration is a superior way to mark this historic and important day. Here on the South Hill this is a day of reflection, learning and celebration. The Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs and the administration deserve recognition for giving this day the importance it merits. It is crucial to have these discussions and activities to serve as a reminder of the relevance of King and his message.
The Civil Rights Movement and King’s legacy are more relevant than ever given the recent events leading to racial tensions spiking in the United States and around the world. People are taking to the streets even today to demand equality and to fight injustice. Here on the South Hill, student protesters filled the halls of the Peggy Ryan Williams Center last semester, proving that this fight is relevant to and valued by the campus population. There is no room for complacency, and this approach to MLK Day is a way to continue on the path of education and reflection.