Or was it atheists? Just a question. via ¿It is the American fair thing to do¿ University cancels religious holidays ¿ but Christmas can stay | Mail Online.
Christian and Jewish students have united in their irritation at the news that the State University of New York at Stony Brook has decided to axe some of their holidays.
Classes will no longer be cancelled in recognition of their major religious celebrations.
Christmas is safe – it is protected under a union contract and occurs when classes are traditionally not in session.
But Christian students will no longer get Good Friday off, while Jewish students will lose Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover and Holy Week.
The university’s administration considered allowing faculty to schedule exams on Saturday and Sunday – a time when many students attend worship services, but it decided against the move after students protested.
Stony Brook said the change in policy had been made in an effort to ensure that some religions are not given special treatment and to ‘afford equal support and equal respect to students and faculty from all faiths’.
Charles Robbins, vice provost for undergraduate education told FOX News Radio that the move would offer ‘equal protection under the regulations to everybody and no one is getting special treatment’.
‘It’s not that we don’t recognize holidays,’ He added. ‘It’s that we don’t feel that as a secular and a state institution that we are in a position to decide which holidays to cancel classes for.
‘Now all segments of our population will be equally recognized,’ he said. ‘It really is the American fair thing to do.’
‘We’re giving more students the ability to practice their faith in any way that they see fit. While I respect everyone’s concerns, the reality is it’s a relatively small number of people who are upset.’
But students and staff have spoken out at the decision.
‘You really have to choose between my faith and my school work and I don’t want to be put in that position,’ Student Aaron Gershoff told CBS News.
Norman Goodman, a professor of sociology, told The Jewish News the policy ‘stinks’.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said he thought the university’s board of trustees should conduct an investigation into the decision.
‘The goal here is radical secularism being shoved down the throats of the people at Stony Brook,’ he said.
Of Stony Brook’s 24,100 students, 50% consider themselves Christian, according to The Jewish Week. Eight percent are Muslim, five percent are Jewish, and five percent are Hindu.
Could this be a case of ‘if we can’t have it no one can?’ If so, who was behind it?