By Raymond N. Greenwell, Professor of Mathematics
In the Nov. 3 issue of The Chronicle, Ronny O'Leary and Miles Bett complained about the Hofstra calendar. O'Leary, in "Local finds empathy for those aggravated by Thanksgiving schedule change," laments classes meeting the day before Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Bett in "Senior demands reasons for poorly planned break schedules" takes aim at Hofstra's late spring break.
They should both be aware that there are faculty and administrators who share their concern.
I was part of a task force that ran a survey in Fall 2010 offering students an alternative. The alternative Fall 2011 calendar would have the day before Thanksgiving off, and the Spring 2012 calendar would have Spring Recess in March.
The drawback is that the University would no longer have days off for religious holidays. For example, we couldn't have a week off in March, and more days off around Easter and Passover in April, and still meet the number of hours that classes must meet according to New York State regulations. The proposal specified that students observing religious holidays would not be penalized for missing classes.
Unfortunately, students voted for the existing Fall 2011 calendar over the alternative calendar 62 percent against 38 percent, and for the existing Spring 2012 calendar over the alternative 55 percent against 45 percent.
Given such opposition to change, the task force decided to leave the calendar as it is.
So if you don't like the Hofstra calendar, please don't blame the Hofstra administration. Blame your fellow students. If you were a Hofstra student in Fall 2010 and didn't participate in the survey, blame yourself.