State and city legislators are up in arms over the City University of New York’s decision to hold final exams during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. More than 50 state legislators and 14 members of the City Council signed a letter on Feb. 5 demanding that the schedule be changed. Apparently, the response received was that the chancellor will not be altering the course of the academic year, which means that students who observe the holiday will have to rely on the kindness of their teachers to be excused from their exams.
The New York Sun reports: “More than a quarter of Queens College and Brooklyn College students identify themselves as Jews, according to Hillel’s Guide to Jewish Life on Campus. Jewish students make up 10 percent or more of campus populations at other CUNY schools, such as Manhattan’s Baruch College and Hunter College, the guide shows.”
Michael Arena, a CUNY spokesman, was interviewed by the paper yesterday and explained that the school system is aware of its obligation to be sensitive to students religious needs, and promised that students observing Shavuot would be allowed to take their finals at another time.