UC Davis Students Oppose Academic Calendar Change

A UC Davis student posted an online petition last month that has gained 27,000 student signatures opposing a change in the academic calendar that shortens next year's winter break from three weeks to two, reports The Sacramento Bee.

The change results from a UC policy to accommodate major religious holidays. Petition supporters say two weeks is too short, especially for international students and others who live far away.

Next fall, UC Davis students will start school a week later than last year, on Sept. 29, allowing Jewish students to observe Rosh Hashanah from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26 and move in before observing Yom Kippur from Oct. 3 to Oct. 4.

The students propose that the start of the 2014-15 winter quarter be shifted from Jan. 5 to Jan. 12, which would allow the fall start date to still accommodate the holidays and maintain a three-week winter break. A spokeswoman for the University of California Office of the President told the Bee that a combination of policies dictates the system's tight calendars, making the request impossible. Academic calendars for 2011 to 2017 were created by a team in 2009. 

The petition has raised debate over whether religion should play a role in creating school calendars. Students have also expressed mixed feelings over the quarter system, the Bee reported.


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The Sacramento Bee