Brown University Kills 'Columbus Day' for 'Fall Weekend'
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
"Fall Weekend" will be taking the place of the holiday formerly known as "Columbus Day" at Brown University this fall.
The faculty of the Ivy League university voted at a meeting Tuesday to establish a new academic and administrative holiday in October called "Fall Weekend" that coincides with Columbus Day, but that doesn't bear the name of the explorer.
Hundreds of Brown students had asked the Providence, R.I. school to stop observing Columbus Day, saying Christopher Columbus's violent treatment of Native Americans he encountered was inconsistent with Brown's values.
"I'm very pleased," Reiko Koyama, a sophomore who led the effort, told the student newspaper, the Brown Daily Herald. "It's been a long time coming."
The change will take effect this fall.
Although the students had asked the school to take another day off instead, Brown will remain closed on Columbus Day, in part to avoid inconveniencing staff whose children might have the holiday off, the Daily Herald reported.
Many other colleges are open on Columbus Day but give students short breaks later in the semester.
Last month a Brown Daily Herald poll found two-thirds of the students supported changing the holiday's name to Fall Weekend, the newspaper reported.