Easter evokes many thoughts: bunnies, eggs, pastels, new life and spring. As students on a private Christian university campus, the first image that should come to mind is Jesus’ resurrection. Canceling class on Good Friday is a good recognition of the Easter weekend and gives students a day of rest to remember the saddest day in the Christian’s world. However, Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week and is normally a special family event. Sadly, ACU’s policy to resume classes on Monday cuts this time short and prevents students from fully enjoying the Easter holiday with their families.
Easter Sunday is not only an important Christian holiday, but it also serves as a time for family to gather and fellowship. When ACU gives students a three-day weekend, it gives them the opportunity to travel home to their families. Yet, the entire focus of the weekend holiday is Sunday, the day students need to begin the drive back to campus. For those who have family in or nearby Abilene, it’s not too much of an issue.
Much of the ACU student population lives around Dallas, which means they only have to drive for about three hours on Easter Sunday. The many students from big cities farther away, like Austin, San Antonio and Houston, are almost cheated out of Easter service and certainly do not have time to enjoy the traditional family meal since they have to get back on the road. Nearly all students from out of state don’t bother going home for Easter Sunday because it just isn’t worth it.
McMurry University suspends classes on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday and the following Monday. A four-day weekend seems rather long so soon after Spring Break, but ACU students need Monday to travel back to campus so they can fully participate in Easter Sunday’s festivities. If McMurry can manage Friday and Monday off, why can’t our university do the same?
Historically, travel was forbidden on the Sabbath to encourage rest. This is not brought up to encourage legalism. Rather, wouldn’t refraining from travel on Easter Sunday, the Christian’s Sabbath, better celebrate Christ’s resurrection than racing back to campus?
Though the Friday and Monday off from school would be challenging to students and teachers, ACU should give students the Monday after Easter off. This is not a group of students pining for more days with no classes, but wanting to respect what Easter Sunday stands for by not spending it in a car. Other universities already follow this policy. Let’s rest Easter Sunday and leave Monday for travel.