DAVIS (CBS13) — Tens of thousands are speaking out about plans to shorten the winter break at UC schools next school year to accommodate religious holidays.

UC Davis spokesman Keith Sterling says schools starting on the quarter system are starting a week later to accommodate the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. To make up for the late start, the break will be cut from three weeks to two.

“This is the first time that there’s an adjustment being made,” he said.

It’s part of a University of California systemwide policy adopted in 2007.

Students like Madison Folden say the change cuts the time she’s able to spend with loved ones over the holidays.

“We’re huge with family, and getting to spend a whole week less is kind of a downer,” she said.

Others say they need the time to decompress after midterms and make extra money at seasonal jobs.

More than 28,000 students have signed a change.org peititon to get the three-week break back, and push winter and spring quarter start dates later.

If a huge number are against it, maybe they should take it into consideration,” said UC Davis freshman Brianna Pressman.

But UC Davis administrators say they need to make up the late start to the year somewhere.

“The calendar is pretty tight, so any type of movement is going to have an effect,” Sterling said.

UC President Janet Napolitano’s office said changing next year’s calendar isn’t an option, “for a variety of reasons including that pushing back the 2015 winter quarter would put the Cesar Chavez Holiday during finals week and finals week cannot be shortened.”

After next year, the winter break will go back to three weeks until the next time this conflict arrives in the 2021 school year.


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