Why doesn’t UNF have Presidents Day off?

Nathan Turoff, Features Editor

Today is Presidents Day which is celebrated annually every third Monday of February. One of 11 Federal holidays throughout the year, most Federal agencies and employees have full paid leave for the day. Most state and local agencies will follow suit in giving employees the day off to some extent. However, the University of North Florida is not one of those entities. 

Presidents Day, officially called Washington’s Birthday, was originally set aside in remembrance of the first president of the United States, albeit not on his actual birthday. While it is still officially called that in some circles, the day is more usually often to as Presidents Day. It now serves more as a celebration of any and every president of the United States of America.

List of holidays that UNF celebrates, courtesy of UNF Human Resources.
List of holidays that UNF celebrates, courtesy of UNF Human Resources.

UNF does not recognize or celebrate Presidents Day in the form of a day off for faculty and students. The university has its own set of nine holidays it recognizes.

UNF generally observes the same holidays as the Federal Government, with some exceptions. The University does not celebrate Juneteenth Independence Day, Columbus Day, or the titular Presidents Day. The university also designates the “Friday after Thanksgiving” (Black Friday) as a holiday, while the Federal Government doesn’t.

Spinnaker reached out to UNF and got the following statement:

“Academic calendars are adopted several years in advance and voted upon by UNF’s Calendar Committee, Faculty Association and executive leadership. The 2021-22 calendar adheres to federal, state and University regulations which require defined amounts of instructional time. While Presidents Day was not designated as a non-instructional day, other holidays have been established as non-instructional.”

It would appear that, similar to the Thanksgiving break schedule, this decision will be final for a long time. Presidents Day or not, UNF students and employees should still attend to their duties and responsibilities like it were any other Monday.


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