Letter to the Editor, Duke Chronicle, 9.7.2010

I enjoy teaching my classes: that is why I didn’t mind coming in Monday for Labor Day to teach. Not only was my class full, no absences, but my colleagues were there, teaching their own classes and holding office hours. I also rode the bus, found the library open and took advantage of available food services—the campus was bristling with activity. However, when I made the climb from my classroom on the first floor of Allen up to the second floor of the University administration that afternoon, I found the lights off, hallways vacant. I knocked on doors and got no answers. It was clear that everyone was off for the holiday, as has been the case for most, if not all, of the Labor Days since I have been at Duke. Now, I would not suggest that anyone be forced to work on Labor Day—it is, after all, a national holiday. Nor do I know what those administrators were doing that day—for all I know, they were working at home, or off on a retreat or simply left before I came by. However, it seems a little inconsistent with what I know of effective management to take the day off while your employees have to work. Ergo, I would suggest, for unity’s sake, that the administration consider at least making themselves visible on the holiday, especially if faculty and students are here, enjoying the beautiful weather out the window while sitting under the fluorescent lights of a classroom.

Daniel Griffin

Graduate and Professional Student Council President

Ph.D. Candidate, Classical Studies