More Breaks Should Line-up with Holidays
April 19, 2017
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It is commonly accepted that non-religious colleges and universities do not recognize religious holidays. Christian universities may give students days off for Easter, but it is not typical of most universities. Why does this mean that when dates line-up that students should not be given the convenience of days to travel home for holidays?
Spring Break is a prime example. The break given in most high schools across the country to coincide with the Easter, and more often than not Passover, is no longer a real break in college. Spring break has very different connotations, as well as a different time frame in college, and it leaves many students spending much more time and money to go home than they usually would.
It may not have made sense this semester to schedule Spring Break in accordance with Easter, with Easter being so late into the semester. Students occasionally argue this matter, of Easter falling to close to the end of the semester. In cases such as this, it may not make sense to have Spring Break for Easter, however, the wonderful thing about Easter is that it changes every year. In fact, next year (2018) it will be on April 1, over a month before the end of the semester. The date of Easter is determined either through the Gregorian calendar or the Julian calendar, depending on the specific religion.
Last year it was on March 27, the weekend after Spring Break. This meant that students observing the holiday, if they wished to do so with their families, needed to spend the money and time to go home two consecutive weekends in a row. I found myself spending over $200 on train tickets in two weeks, just because of this.
In the next seven years Easter will only fall after April 10th three times, so why can’t Spring Break accommodate for the other four times?
While I do believe it is important that universities and colleges not necessarily follow a religion, to maintain the separation of church and state mentality, there is a difference between recognizing a holiday and providing students with a convenience when it is at no cost to the university schedule. On years where Easter is within two weeks of Spring Break, there should be no reason Spring Break cannot be moved to save students the extra time and money.
When breaks are conveniently spaced with any holiday students at a university may observe, there is no good reason the breaks cannot line up. Whether it be a Christian, Jewish, Islam, or Hindu holiday, every convenience should be given when it is possible. Considering most students attending a university pay somewhere between $25,000-60,000 a year, it would be nice if the board and administration could attempt to save them time, money, and aggravation when possible.