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Albany State U Administration Refuses to Close School for Passover; Students Vow Boycott

An official student boycott is expected at Albany State University next week as a result of the administration’s refusal to shut down the school for the Passover holidays. Rabbi Leonard M. Kaplan, B’nai B’rith Hillel adviser on the campus, informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “The way things look now, classes will not be officially closed, since there is not enough time for the necessary administrative procedures.” He said however that “it is almost certain that the administration will give the Jewish students a commitment that in the future the university will be closed on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and the first two days of Passover.” The student council at Albany State has demanded that President Allen Kuusisto close the university for Passover just as it is closed for the Christmas and Easter holidays. They said that since 40 percent of the student body is Jewish, they should not be discriminated against. Dr. Kuusisto has asked the faculty not to penalize students who do not attend classes on April 20, 21 and 22 and not to hold examinations and labs on those days. The students say this is not enough. They argue that the university is discriminating against Jewish students by not permitting their religious and cultural holidays to become university-wide like Christmas and Easter. The students agreed to make-up classes if the entire university is closed for Passover but said they would not accept an extended school year if they must boycott classes in order to press their demands.

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