Spring Break Should Fall on Easter
February 27, 2018
Going home for spring break, which usually lands around mid-March, is something most of us do if we are not planning on going somewhere tropical for vacation. But the timing seems to never be just right. You often only see your family in the evening because your parents have been at work all day, and your little siblings are at school because their break is later in the season. Considering NYU does not have days off scheduled for other major religions, the dates of spring break seem to be a feeble attempt by NYU to dispossess itself from favoring Christianity.
NYU says it follows the lead of New York City public schools when it comes to snow days, but doesn’t have spring break at the same time. This year, spring break for New York City public schools is March 30 to April 8, but our spring break is March 12 to March 16. Columbia University has scheduled those same dates for its spring break; however, the New School has March 19 to March 25 off. There isn’t consensus on spring break dates even among college campuses. The New York City public school system has chosen days that fall on the Christian holiday of Easter — with spring break beginning on Good Friday and continuing for a week after Easter, which falls on April 1.
Because Easter falls on a Sunday, NYU does not need to give Christian students the day off to celebrate. In addition, NYU policy stipulates that absences for religious holidays are excused regardless. Being a global university whose students have a variety of beliefs and having various centers for each major religion, it is understandable that NYU would not want to schedule their break around the Christian holidays. NYU’s spring 2018 semester goes from Jan. 22 to May 8 with spring break scheduled at week seven of the 15-week term. The dates are likely NYU’s way of making break occur at the midpoint of the semester. However, the only break we have in the fall semester is Thanksgiving break, which doesn’t come until three weeks before the end of the semester. Therefore, it is apparent that breaks are contingent upon convenience within the semester.Recently, there has been some criticism of public schools scheduling their holidays around Christian holidays, but public schools in New York City also have Jewish holidays off, such as Yom Kippur, but NYU does not. Although winter break is considered a break for all holidays, class is never scheduled on Christmas and often does fall on Hanukkah and holidays for other religions such as Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha in Islam. To be sensitive to multiculturalism, NYU should have spring break scheduled during the Easter holidays and make sure there are breaks for other religions’ holidays as well.
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Email Beth Sattur at [email protected].