Late Rosh Hashanah delays fall 2014 start, shorter winter break


Students at some University of California schools will lose a week of winter break in the 2014-2015 school year, gaining a week of summer break instead.

The calendar change stems from a UC policy requiring campuses to avoid conflicts between religious holidays and residence hall move-in days, said Frank Wada, UCLA registrar.

“It’s not about reducing the break, it’s about complying with the policy,” Wada said.

Because Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, spans from Sept. 24-26 this year, UC schools on the quarter system will start instruction on Oct. 2, a week later than usual, to avoid a conflict with move-in days, Wada said.

Catherine Eshaghzadeh, a first-year psychobiology student, said she celebrates the Jewish New Year, and the religious holiday is meaningful for her.

“It’s a time when we become a family,” Eshaghzadeh said.

Eshaghzadeh said if residence hall move-in days and Rosh Hashanah occurred on the same days, she would probably not be able to move in to UCLA on time.

“I don’t think (the University) should make people choose,” Eshaghzadeh said.

As a result of the later move-in date, students will finish fall quarter later, but will start the winter and spring quarters around the same date as they have in recent years.

Wada said the University wanted to ensure that it started and ended winter and spring quarters on time while still complying with the policy.

Some international students said they think having a shorter winter break is inconvenient for them.

Rita Lee, an international first-year psychology student, said she was disappointed by the change because her parents live in China and she will have to spend less time with them over winter break if she goes home.

Lee added that losing a week of winter break has more of an impact on her than losing a week of summer.

Wada said that the shorter winter break will not necessarily recur, but will depend on the dates of religious holidays in coming years.

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Email Schallert at aschallert+@media.ucla.edu.


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  • Interesting

    Does this mean that I can have a day off for Lunar/Chinese New Year?

  • Nilesh Murali

    This policy is flawed and poorly crafted. At best, it is extremely unfair to the majority of students. We attend a secular school, and students with religious persuasion need to work around the university’s calendar, and not vice versa.

  • What

    This is absolutely terrible for most international students! Students will be unable to be with their families during the holiday season as Winter Break is now ridiculously short. Additionally, most international students will not be able to visit their families for an entire academic year since all other vacations are too short to make a trip back home.