Jan. 21 passed for Creighton students with merely a few posters in the dining hall to indicate the importance of the day. Universities such as Loyola in Chicago observe Martin Luther King Jr. day by giving the students the day off.
Creighton students were instead invited to observe the holiday by enjoying his favorite foods and participating in a ‘day of service’, making blankets. King promoted knowledge, so I understand wanting students to learn, but it feels as though the holiday passed without the respect it was due. Given our current political climate, it seems the celebration of the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King Jr. is needed now more than ever.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the perfect time for Creighton to promote learning about this powerful and religious leader, outside of what they already know about his most famous speech. A screen with a projector is put up in the student center during March Madness so that students have easy access to watch the games. Projecting a documentary about Dr. King could be just as simple, allowing students to broaden their horizons about not only him but the movement as a whole.
Students hoping to participate in an actual day of service should be granted the day off and given opportunities to go and give back to the community. The Sienna Francis House and many other homeless shelters are less than a ten-minute drive to campus. Shuttles could take students to participate in a real day of service.
Programs should be put in place for students to learn about what the day means and why it deserves acknowledgement. Creighton’s celebration of diversity and service should include that we take steps to show Dr. King and Jan. 21 the respect it deserves.