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Holiday Scheduled to Balance

By Daniel C. Stevenson
Editor in Chief

Yesterday's class holiday, originally scheduled for last Monday, was moved by the faculty last fall to coincide with the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

The reason for the holiday is to balance the number of Tuesday-Thursday classes with the number of Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes, according to Iria J. Romano, assistant to the registrar.

The holiday occurs in five of the seven possible calendars, depending on the placement of Labor Day, Romano said. The calendar schedules school to begin after Labor Day, which traditionally falls on the first Monday in September. For years in which Labor Day comes early in the month, the Institute calendar will include the holiday.

This is the second academic year under the new calendar approved by the faculty in the spring of 1993.

Next fall will also have a class holiday, Romano said, on Sept. 23, which coincides with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah is on Sept. 14 next year.

Last November, the faculty approved a motion to move this year's holiday forward one week.In April, they approved a motion to allow the registrar to set the date for the holiday, in consultation with the Faculty Policy Committee.

The original placement of the holiday was "somewhat arbitrary," wrote Professor of Physics Robert L. Jaffe, chair of the faculty at the time, in a Nov. 9 letter explaining the Faculty Policy Committee's recommendation for the change.

Jaffe, Registrar David S. Wiley '61, and President Charles M. Vest received several suggestions to move the holiday one week forward to coincide with the Jewish holiday , Jaffe said last fall.

Jaffe said the FPC unanimously agreed that "the best resolution for this situation would be to give the Registrar the authority to establish, with advice from the FPC, the specific date of the Monday holiday."