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Christian calendar makes for easier holidays… for some

Posted November 30th, 2011 by UHDS News

Leading into this “Holiday Season”, I start to think about how grateful I am that Christmas is observed by the school calendar. I have so much planning to do to make sure that I see all of my relatives, go to Christmas Eve service, and get all of my shopping done. All this hustle and bustle over one of my favorite holidays makes me start thinking about holidays for other religions and cultures.  I mean, should we even call this time the “Holiday Season” when there are so many people that do not celebrate any holidays during this time? Are there not many more holiday seasons for the multiple cultures and religions represented in the US? What I have realized is that many students still have to go to school and worry about homework and tests during their important cultural and religious holidays. If Christmas was not a recognized holiday it would undoubtedly bring in more stress and affect my religion’s most important holiday.

I cannot even imagine having to study for a test that would take place on Christmas day or having a project that is due on Easter, but there are people that attend OSU where this is a reality. An example for fall term is Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah which is October 20-21 and is supposed to be a nonworking holiday for the Jewish community. Another is Birth of Baha’u’llah on November 12 and is supposed to be a nonworking day for the Baha’i community. To learn more OSU observed holidays click here and to learn more about other religious holidays not observed by most school calendars click here. I have learned there are many holidays that take place throughout the academic year, yet our campus does not observe them as official holidays. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to ask a professor to reschedule a test or give me an extension on a project for a religious or cultural holiday. However, since I am a practicing Christian, and the academic calendar is shaped around the major Christian Holidays, this is something that I will never have to face. Therefore, I feel that I have an academic advantage as a result, which I see as unfair.

I am grateful that my holiday is observed, but how can people who observe other holidays gain access to necessary resources or be allowed the same grace as I with assignments or tests? This is where I can see that I am indeed privileged. It is so normative in the U.S. to celebrate Christmas and have “Christmas Break” off from school. Do you have privilege here as well? I am sure I am not the only one who has had this misconception. Trying to schedule a family get together, make sure I get my essential meals, and making sure that I am being successful in school would push me to the wall. Is there something that can be stated or included for students who celebrate major holidays during the school year to give them the respect that I would want?

— Kameron Beeks, Community Relations Facilitator

See the CRF website to learn more about the CRF Program and how to get involved.

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8 Responses to “Christian calendar makes for easier holidays… for some”

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  4. Avtochasti Says:

    Nice article! And I’m starting to think about many things around Christmas, to get a balance, and to get together with the family. This is a family holiday, and all the students go home.

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    Thanks, for the article Kameron. IMHO there is a huge human factor here..

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