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New Religious Holiday Policy At SUNY Stony Brook Causes Controversy

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(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) – A new policy regarding religious holidays is causing a controversy at SUNY Stony Brook. The school will no longer give students off for religious holidays.

SUNY Stony Brook students will be off for Holy Week and Passover in April, but the University has changed its calendar after that.

The students and faculty have raised concerns over the new policy.

“It stinks,” Dr Norman Goodman told CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff.

Those who oppose the policy say that it is disrespectful of students and faculty who observe religious holidays. But the administration says that they acted in the interest of academics.

In 2011, students were given time off to observe religious holidays that fell right before final exams.

Stony Brook Vice Provost  Charles Robbins says that the move is not unprecedented.

“Within SUNY only eight [schools] cancel classes for religious holidays, so we are in good company,” he said.

But some students see the new policy as disrespectful towards all Stony Brook students.

“You really have to choose between my faith and my school work and I don’t want to be put in that position,” said Aaron Gershoff.

Critics have urged the administration to reconsider the policy which will be in effect for the next four years.

University officials told CBS 2 that no exams will given and that papers will not be due on religious holidays to avoid penalizing students for following their faith.

Should classes be cancelled on religious holidays? Let us know in our comments section below…

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