The University of Massachusetts is one of many public institutions that recognizes Columbus Day as a federal holiday. Classes are canceled and students are treated to a three-day weekend. This year, however, a small group of liberal students UMass’ campus are looking to change the nearly century-old tradition of celebrating Columbus Day by attending their Monday classes.
“We figure it’s what our ancestors would have wanted,” claims the president of Birkenstocks for Peace, one of the on-campus student groups participating in the protest and whose ancestors were aboard the Santa Maria. “I mean, what better way to expose that pig Columbus’ crimes to the world than by sitting in the back of the lecture hall of my Jazz History gen-ed?”
“I’m just going to treat it as another day and spend the whole lecture on my computer listening to Bon Iver, and asking a poorly timed and overly-meta question like, ‘aren’t we all just improvised?’” said sophomore psychology major, Anna Libby.
Another brave student, Emily Watson, will be writing, administering, and then taking a test in her Econ 103 class this Monday.
“I believe that suffering through this test is but a small price to pay to spread the word about the atrocities of Christopher Columbus,” Watson stated. “Whenever I take a stand in protest, I like to think to myself, ‘what would my idol Lena Dunham do?’ I know she too would get a C- on a test she didn’t need to take on a day off of classes.”
While this is certainly a valiant effort, questions will be asked about how much this is helping. However, a Bartlett Hall custodian said that this doesn’t hinder any of his normal off-day activities.
“So usually the only people we find in here on days off are passed-out and half-naked frat pledges,” said the custodian. “So to be honest, a few protesters with BO is a welcome sight when I’m mopping these floors.”
It will be interesting to see if this protest finally is what it takes to change the name of the oft-criticised holiday.
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