The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday January 18th

Major inconvenience

Sending UNC employees home to accommodate a football game is asking to sacri?ce too much

UNC officials should remember that our University does not exist purely for entertainment.

That’s an idea that was apparently forgotten when officials scheduled a football game for Oct. 22 against Florida State.

On that day — the Thursday of Fall Break — the UNC football team will play the Florida State Seminoles at 8 p.m. here in Chapel Hill.

Thousands of employees leaving the University while fans are arriving would bring traffic to a standstill.

So the Office of Human Resources is sending employees home at 3 p.m. rather than the usual 5 p.m. — and the employees will have to make up those two hours.

It’s an unfair situation: The employees are being forced to take time off and then make that time up all to accommodate the football schedule.

True, it’s a prime-time game, and it’s going to generate a lot of attention for the University and the football team.

But it’s during the workweek, and University employees don’t have the benefit of a Fall Break.

Brenda Malone, vice chancellor for human resources, suggested several ways employees can make up the time in an e-mail she sent out Aug. 20.

Employees can work additional hours on other days during the week of Oct. 22. They can use vacation hours, bonus hours or other types of hours they’ve accumulated.

Or they can use furlough hours — unpaid leave mandated because of budget cuts.

Making up two hours might not seem like an excessive hardship.

But it’s enough to cause complications for employees with families, carpools or anything else that relies on a consistent schedule.

University officials praised the football schedule when it was announced in February because officials were able to fit a Thursday night game into the schedule during Fall Break.

While the game won’t interfere with classes, it will cause a great inconvenience for the thousands of University employees who will be working to keep the University functioning while students are away.

The University should place employee welfare above scheduling a high-profile game and remember this University is an institution first and an entertainer second.

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