Villanova Students Should Have Presidents’ Day Off


Courtesy of Olivia Pasquale/Villanovan Photography

The University cited inflationary pressures as being behind the 4.25 percent increase in tuition.

Bella Irwin, Co-Opinion Editor

Presidents’ Day. A holiday initially created in 1885 to celebrate our first president George Washington, has since become a federally recognized day to commemorate our long line of Commanders-in-Chief.

Given its formal and federal consideration as a day off, why does Villanova fail to integrate this holiday into our University calendar?

Though Presidents’ Day was first established in honor of George Washington, other factors played a role in its formal consideration as a holiday. According to, this day earned its “Presidents’ Day” title after the 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, in an effort to create more three-day weekends for our country’s workers.

Given our nation’s widely-held value of a strong work ethic, this holiday was essentially established with the goal of minimizing employee absenteeism. In other words, it was an attempt to alleviate the heavy burden and stress that comes with being a member of America’s workforce.

Just as Congress fully recognized the necessity of having days off, why isn’t the same consideration awarded to the Villanova student body?

As we approach week seven of a semester that has had only one holiday (Martin Luther King Day), why not award students another day of rest as we head into midterms week?

“At this point in the semester, many of us are experiencing academic burnout,” sophomore Kayla Verga said.

“Even though spring break is coming up, our workload is still growing. Having this extra day off would be extremely helpful to finish some of our assignments before break.”

This time is the breaking point for students, as we teeter between the fatigue of a long, draining semester and the start of among the most trying, stressful weeks of the year.

Given that Presidents’ Day is already a federally recognized holiday, the University is actively avoiding granting us this break, taking extra measures to facilitate a work day when it is not legally required.

“Presidents’ Day usually falls right before midterms week,” sophomore Maggie Logler said.

“Students could use either a day of studying, or a day to relax in preparation for the tumultuous week ahead. My old schools always celebrated Presidents’ Day. Why, in college and with a greater workload, do we not get this same time off?”

Many students have attended schools that always participated in Presidents’ Day. It is perplexing as to why higher education institutions do not abide by the same standards.

In reaching out to the University on behalf of our lack of adherence to this holiday, Villanova cited the academic calendars of other local colleges and universities as well as our peer institutions that also do not observe Presidents’ Day.

The University further stated that the “Fall and Spring Academic Calendars have a similar number of holidays/breaks. Adding additional days would necessitate starting the semester earlier or ending later.”

However, I doubt observing Presidents’ Day and enjoying one more holiday would truly necessitate ending this semester later.

While I understand and appreciate the University’s dedication to prioritizing scheduling and organization in connection to our educational experience, what is one extra day of break in the face of student mental and emotional well-being?