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The Dartmouth
May 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Many faculty ignore Green Key, hold class

Green Key: a well-deserved breather or a contemptible bacchanalian debauchery? College faculty came down on both sides, though the many professors confessed to being largely ignorant of the weekend celebration.

The majority of faculty members interviewed by The Dartmouth said they support the Green Key holiday. Professors typically cited the particularly stressful nature of the classes in the spring. The Spring term runs nine consecutive weeks without a holiday -- the longest stretch without time off during the academic year.

"Most of the students are working like slaves," English professor William Cook said. "They can take a short break."

Others mentioned the attractiveness of the New England spring, especially welcome after this year's harsh winter.

"I think students are entitled to have fun, especially given how beautiful it is here in the spring. It's entirely appropriate that students have a day off to enjoy it," government professor Linda Fowler said.

No interviewed faculty explicitly denounced the Green Key holiday. However, many declined to comment or said they, like Fowler, "don't spend a lot of time thinking about it."

"I never pay attention to it," English professor Thomas Luxon said.

A few professors made reference to the weekend's reputation as a time of indulgence.

"I don't know very much about Green Key per se, however it is one of those occasions when we talk about ritual heavy drinking," anthropology professor Hoyt Alverson said.

Although faculty members conceded that students deserve a break, nearly all professors said they would hold class today.

"I didn't cancel classes, although sometimes in the past it's been an official policy," Cook said.

Classics professor Roger Ulrich acceded, "I've had a total of one student request that my class on Friday not be held."

Interviewed faculty distinguished between Green Key weekend and other Dartmouth holidays like Winter Carnival and Homecoming, during which the College officially cancels or reschedules classes.

"There's no mention of Green Key in the College prospectus," Ulrich said. "The College does not recommend that we cancel classes and Green Key's not even on the calendar."

A number of faculty members confessed that they were largely ignorant of the greater significance of Green Key weekend.

"I really know virtually nothing about it," environmental studies professor Douglas Bolger said.

Earth science professor Stefan Sturup told The Dartmouth, "I don't even know what Green Key is."