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Weber State University students said they spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day catching up on homework, working and relaxing. The day off from classes provided more than just a time to catch up in class, though. Some WSU students attended events and used the time to think about the memorable days of King.
“He was an advocate for his people,” said Kelcey Howell, a WSU junior, “and did what he had to do.”
Howell, who is currently learning about slavery in her history class, said she hopes to one day become a history teacher. She said Martin Luther King Jr. Day means more to her now than it did when she was a child.
“He is a huge figure for everyone,” said WSU freshman Emily Schumacher. “He wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believed in, and what he believed is right.”
Schumacher said she learned about King in school and that she thinks it is important to have the holiday so that people can stay educated about the history of it.
Scott Reinhard, WSU junior, said Martin Luther King Jr. Day is just the day set aside to remember what King did, but that his message is lived every day.
Ryland Washington, WSU freshman, said Martin Luther King Jr. Day reminds him of growing up in school, learning about King and realizing that everyone is the same. He said that, having grown up in the diversity of Cleveland, Ohio, he realized that getting to know people from diverse backgrounds made him find common ties between everyone.
Greysen Hansen, WSU freshman, said that, to him, King was the voice of unification. Hansen said he thinks students know who King is, but don’t care to know in depth what he stood for.
“They don’t understand the resounding effects,” Hansen said. “They just exist with it.”
Washington agreed with Hansen about students’ knowledge of the history behind Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“I think people see it as a bland piece of history,” Washington said, “and they don’t recognize the everyday effects of it.”
Howell said the students who know about the history behind Martin Luther King Jr. Day are the ones who want to know about it.
Michelle Cook, WSU sophomore, said Martin Luther King Jr. Day meant she got a day off of school. She said students probably don’t care about what happened in history if it doesn’t affect them directly. She said students are too focused on what they’re doing now.
“I think it is important to remember what happened in the past, or we’re doomed to repeat it,” Cook said.
Washington said he believes King achieved what he set out to achieve, but that there is still work to be done in society involving race.
“I still think there’s a lot we can do,” Hansen said, agreeing with Washington on eradicating racism in society.
Hansen and Washington both said they plan on attending some of the events planned this week in honor of King.