Good Intentions, Bad Execution: YU's Labor Day Activities

By: Ailin Elyasi  |  September 5, 2018

by Ailin Elyasi, Senior News Editor

On Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd, the Office of Student Life (OSL) on both the Beren and Wilf campuses offered activities for students staying in school during the holiday weekend. Activities included biking in Central Park, a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game, and a screening of Black Panther. Many students expressed positive feedback regarding the activities but remarked that it could have been better organized and better planned.

Program Manager Zehavya Stadlan said the activities offered were meant to provide “options for those who decided to stay on campus this weekend, especially new students who are adjusting to the city and campus. It is a great way to meet other students while exploring the city.”

Being that this is the second year that YU has offered off-campus activities on Labor Day, the OSL arranged its trips based on the activities that garnered high interest last year. The activities last year included hiking at Bear Mountain, an arcade day, and a baseball game, with the baseball game and the hiking achieving the highest interest. As such, this year the OSL offered a similar physical activity and another baseball game. As for the movie, Zehavya Stadlan remarked that the OSL “wanted to offer one indoor option for students who want to relax on a hot day, so we thought a movie in the city would be fun.” About 35 students from each campus showed interest in joining the activities; the most popular activities were biking in Central Park and the Brooklyn Cyclones game.

Many students appreciated the school’s effort to offer free activities on a long weekend. Resident advisor Rachel Haber (SCW ‘20) expressed excitement at the opportunity to do something special on Labor Day weekend. “I’ve always wanted to go biking in Central Park. When I saw they needed volunteers to staff it, I jumped at the chance,” she commented. “Public holidays and long weekends can be hard for out-of-towners, especially so early in the year when people aren’t totally settled yet.” An out-of-towner from Florida, Talia Korn (SCW ‘19) remarked, “[The activities] are a great way to make our school more of a community, and encourage students not to run away the second we have the chance!”

In terms of logistics, however, students expressed that YU could have done more on the administrative side to ensure the activities progressed smoothly.  Students who attended the biking trip reported that the original destination for the bus was Coney Island, until the resident advisors running the activity directed the bus driver to the correct location, Central Park. In addition, no designated meeting place was established for the men and women to meet and proceed to the activity. Since Central Park runs from 59th Street to 110th Street, the delay of the groups meeting was inevitable as both sides had no established meeting place between the 51 streets. Ilana Radinsky (SCW ‘20) commented, “the trip itself was fraught with confusion.”

“It’s great that the school offers fun activities on a long weekend so that students can appreciate the city and spend time with their YU friends,” said Korn. “But the day could have been more productive if logistics were worked out before we nearly ended up in Coney Island instead of Central Park.”

Students appreciated the good intentions behind YU’s Labor Day activities, but in the end, poor planning made for a confusing trip.