On Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m., an email that elated the Cabrini community appeared in the inboxes of students, faculty and staff. Cabrini University President Donald Taylor granted a presidential holiday for Thursday, Feb. 8, the day of the Philadelphia Eagles victory parade.
“The Eagles first-ever Super Bowl victory on Sunday was a historic event, as will be the Super Bowl parade scheduled for Thursday. What an amazing time for Philadelphians and for Eagles fans everywhere,” Taylor wrote in the emailed sent to Cabrini students, faculty and staff.
Not only was this decision made for the benefit of dedicated Eagles fans but for commuter students coming from the city. Due to the immense number of expected attendants, SEPTA modified railway schedules, running only inbound trains in the morning and outbound trains in the evening.
Mia Scocozzo, a graduate student studying secondary education, planned to attend the parade regardless of the decision made by President Taylor.
“Not only was this an extraordinary event for Philadelphia, but you have to think about how students are going to get to school,” Scocozzo said. “We have a lot of commuters and since the train schedules were fixed and changed, even if they wanted to, they probably wouldn’t have been able to get to campus. I think that was a big consideration in their decision.”
Cabrini University was not the only institution to celebrate the Eagles win with a day off. Schools located in the city of Philadelphia and some in the surrounding counties were called off to observe this historical event.
Nia Alvaruz-Mapp, junior writing and philosophy double major, did not attend the parade, but appreciated having the day off to relax and catch up on school work.
“I’m not from Philadelphia; I’m a Giants fan,” Alvaruz-Mapp said. “I knew that if we did have classes, I would have been one of the only people there, so it made sense to have the day off.”
Though students were grateful to have off for many different reasons, the decision to cancel class begs the question: what is the criteria for an event to warrant a day off?
Inclement weather is often a toss-up, as students and staff usually have to wait until the morning of to receive the news that the campus is closed or not. On election day, campus was open and classes followed their normal schedule, despite the need for students to vote.
Rosa Altomare, campus minister at Cabrini University, is a lifelong Eagles fan.
“It’s so special that the Eagles won, especially being their first one; I think that’s what made it an exception,” Altomare said. “I think a situation like this is different from an election day. With an event [such as] the election, you know when it is going to be, so if you need to make arrangements, you can do so in advance and Cabrini would provide opportunities to get to the polls.”
Joe Berardi, junior history and writing double major, thought the decision made sense.
“When you have an event like the Super Bowl parade, millions of people are gathering in one place to celebrate, so there are going to be commuting issues,” Berardi said. “This event imposed an issue that the school had to address. Since commuters from the city wouldn’t be able to get here, so they made the executive decision to close for the day.”
Cabrini University president, Donald Taylor, made it clear in his email that this presidential holiday was a gift due to historic event, but don’t expect another day off for the next parade.
“Since most experts consider the Eagles to be Super Bowl contenders for many years to come, I’m not promising a Cabrini presidential holiday for future parades for any of our Philly teams,” Taylor wrote in the email.
Editor’s Note: Scocozzo’s name was originally misspelled. The article has been modified to correct this error.