The Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government Senate is making progress toward recognizing Veterans Day as a school holiday at California Lutheran University.
A resolution drafted by sophomore senator Ryan Luchs was passed unanimously and sent to the Board of Regents on Nov. 17, 2014. If approved, Nov. 11 will be honored as a school holiday and all classes and campus activities will not take place, according to the resolution on the ASCLUG website.
“That was something I noticed in the days leading up to Veterans Day. People were rather upset about this major federal holiday, not to mention a point of patriotism for a lot of people not being brought up,” Luchs said.
Luchs chose to draft the resolution after he had received feedback from students on a survey given during the fall 2014 semester. A particular comment left on the survey involved a story about student veteran Sara Bergeron.
Bergeron served in the United States Navy and is an employee for Veteran’s Affairs. She has a husband who is also in the military and a son who attends public school. Her story mentioned in the comments was about a previous Veterans Day.
“When I started here my first semester, my son had Veterans Day off and I didn’t. So I had to actually bring him to school because I was already paying for child care, my husband was on deployment and it was just a huge cost to incur,” Bergeron said.
Bergeron said not having the day off from classes is not only detrimental to the students who are veterans, but staff members as well. She said those with children in public school typically have to make other arrangements for child care or choose to miss class or work, neither of which are preferred.
Luchs contacted Bergeron after hearing her story, and together they drafted a resolution for ASCLUG. They both felt proud it passed unanimously, knowing this issue is important to the student body.
“It is a recognition that CLU is in line with the outside world, as it were. But it’s also a recognition that a smaller, less recognized group on campus that has its own needs can still have those needs addressed and met by leadership,” Luchs said.
Jenn Zimmerman, veterans coordinator and United States Navy veteran said she believes this legislation is important to the 56 veteran students on campus.
“There are heroes walking around on our campus, and yet they have to be in school on their particular day. To have Veterans Day off, it would just really symbolize like, ‘Hey they’re thinking of me,’” Zimmerman said.
Bergeron and Luchs want to emphasize that Veterans Day will not be a holiday added, but rather a day off in lieu of fall holiday.
“It looks like it’s going to happen, and it looks like fall holiday will probably become some type of veteran observance day, but that’s still in the works,” Bergeron said.
While the Board of Regents has yet to vote on the resolution, it has the support of Cal Lutheran President Chris Kimball. Kimball will be speaking about the resolution to the senators during a senate meeting in the near future, according to Bergeron.
Bergeron, Luchs and Zimmerman are hopeful the resolution will pass, achieving the goal of honoring the nation’s heroes among Cal Lutheran’s student body, staff and faculty.
“I’m proud of our veteran students because they’re doing this transition from the military to civilian life, and they’re choosing to do it here at Cal Lutheran. So having the day off for them is important,” Zimmerman said.
Published March 18th, 2015