Some 70 state and city legislators have called on CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein to change the spring calendar so that final exams won’t be given on Shavuot.
This is the first year the City University’s 22 institutions have operated on a centralized calendar set by the chancellor’s office rather than on individual schedules. That means thousands of Jewish students across the city may be called upon to take exams on the evening of May 22 or the following two days, when Shavuot is observed.
“Shavuot is no different from Rosh HaShanah or Passover,” on which classes are suspended, says Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn, who organized the letter to Goldstein after being contacted by observant faculty members concerned about the schedule.
In a Jan. 17 letter to Hikind, Goldstein said it was too late to change the calendar because too many people have already based their plans on it. But he noted that “the colleges have been reminded of the obligation to faculty and students who must absent themselves” because of religious observance.
Not good enough, says Hikind, who says he’ll urge Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Eliot Spitzer to override the chancellor and change the schedule.