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Virginia Tech designates Labor Day as university-wide holiday

April 10, 2017

Students cross the Drillfield during a class change in late summer.
Students cross the Drillfield during a class change in late summer.

It’s official. Virginia Tech will add one more holiday to the campus calendar beginning this fall. With a vote from the University Council on Monday, Virginia Tech will designate Labor Day, the first Monday of September, as a holiday when classes will not be held and offices will be closed.

Until now, classes had been held on Labor Day, and the holiday was optional for university staff. In 2015 and again last year, President Tim Sands declared the university closed on Labor Day. Such declarations, however, applied only to those days and did not change the holiday’s status for future years.

The resolution adopted by the University Council on Monday states that a recent survey found that 90 percent of students and 76 percent of faculty preferred that classes not be held on Labor Day. Further, 24 of the university’s 25 peers — as designated by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia — currently hold no classes on Labor Day.

The resolution also states that the academic calendar contains adequate contact hours during the fall term to reduce the semester by one day without affecting the defined instructional semester calendar length. The long weekend break in October and the weeklong break around Thanksgiving will not be affected by this change.

“As I stated in 2015, I was surprised that Virginia Tech held classes on this important national holiday,” President Sands said. “When we first closed for the holiday in 2015, I asked university governance to look into the possibility of making the Labor Day closing a permanent part of our academic calendar. I’m pleased with the work made by those various committees, and that was endorsed today by the vote from University Council. I know that faculty, staff, and students appreciate the opportunity to observe this holiday.”

As a result of the University Council’s decision, all policies and handbooks will be updated to reflect the change.

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