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Which Holidays are Important to Pace?

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Which Holidays are Important to Pace?

Calendar committee guidelines. Photo courtesy of pace.edu.

Calendar committee guidelines. Photo courtesy of pace.edu.

Calendar committee guidelines. Photo courtesy of pace.edu.

Calendar committee guidelines. Photo courtesy of pace.edu.

Josiah Darnell, Opinion Edotor

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Creating college semesters is an important job because the length and the number of holidays celebrated have to be taken into account. Colleges and universities encourage diversity and with that, different amount of religious holidays and national holidays have to be included in their scheduled days off.

No matter how many holidays are being celebrated, the university has to figure out how many they can allow a day off for without extending the length of the semester. One of the first steps into making up the school calendar is to make sure it fits between Labor Day and Christmas.

The holidays like Thanksgiving, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur will always find their way into the schedule since they are major calendar holidays. The holidays that are not as popular but have gotten recognition recently like Diwali have shown up on the school calendar too.

That then raises the question, why are smaller religious holidays like Diwali being recognized and what happened to the other national holidays that used to be recognized, like Columbus Day and Election Day. In years passed, these were both days where classes were not in session and yet the semester length was still able to stay the same. Another question raised is, what rules or guidelines does the calendar committee use to determine if a holiday is deemed fit to be put in the calendar.

“Holidays are accommodated by moving around study days and conversion days (for example a Monday when Tuesday classes are held,” says Dr. Ellen Susanna, a two-year member of the calendar committee.

Study days and conversion days are essential to the calendar because they give students time to prepare for the different amount of finals they have during that semester. The conversion days allow classes to fulfill the necessary amount of seat time they need for academic purposes.

All of these have to be taken into account when making the schedule, which means some holidays would be left out. If every holiday was taken into account, the Fall semester would last for the whole season of winter.

The spring semester is not as much of a hassle as the Fall. There are not as many holidays that need to be evaluated.

There will never be a set solution as to which holidays show up on the school calendar. The most the Pace Calendar Committee can do is stay consistent or put holidays on a rotation cycle.

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