Today in NC State History: Administration says, “Bah, humbug”

December 11, 2013
By Chris Saunders

historyIconCollege students can be a fickle lot, and picking out a Christmas present for them can be a complicated exercise nowadays. Parents may not necessarily know about all the latest gadgets and technology or be up to date on the latest fashions.

But in 1961, students’ wants were more black-and-white, as a simple extended holiday break was at the top of their Christmas lists.

According to an article in The Technician, a petition signed by 3,503 students was submitted to the administration asking that winter break begin on Dec. 16 instead of on Dec. 19, the original start date.

Student government supported the petition, and student body president Norris Tolson said he would present the petition to the dean of student affairs, who would then take it up with the chancellor.

But on this day 52 years ago, the administration acted as the Grinch and said no to the students’ request. The decision was based on the fact that NC State already had more holidays than UNC and that the university’s academic calendar should be more closely aligned with the other universities in the consolidated system.

Tolson vowed to appoint a committee to study the idea further and saluted student solidarity in the matter.

“I commend you for your united effort to express your opinions about the issue,” he said in The Technician. “It is commendable that you were diplomatic and discreet in your disapproval. Your voice has been heard and, though, of no value to you this Christmas, I can assure you that all possible steps will be taken to alleviate the situation next year.”

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