Frosh week changes approved

New Orientation Week schedule to accomodate Jewish and Muslim Students

Queen’s Senate approved schedule changes to 2010 Orientation Week to allow students observing Eid al-Fitre and Rosh Hashanah to fully participate in Orientation Week activities.

Faculty Orientation Week was originally scheduled to run between Sept. 6 and Sept. 12. Rosh Hashanah lasts from Sept. 8 to Sept. 10 and Eid al-Fitre falls on Sept. 10.

The new Orientation Week schedule begins with residence orientation on Sep. 4, a day earlier than originally planned.

Faculty orientation also will begin and end a day earlier, running from Sept. 7 to 11.

AMS Vice-President (University Affairs) Chris Rudnicki said that the new schedule includes a joint-faculty day on Sept. 9 that will be organized by the Orientation Round Table (ORT.) Because the day’s events will not be organized in faculty groups, those who decide to go home to celebrate Rosh Hashanah or Eid al-Fitre will not be missing out on their specific faculty group events.

ORT co-ordinator, Sacha Gudmundsson said ORT will be working with Sodexho to extend the cafeteria hours of operation to accomdate students fasting between sunrise and sunset. Exact hours have not yet been set, she said, but Sodexho has always been able to make accomadations in the past.

To ensure students are aware of the extended hours, pre-orientation week training for orientation leaders will focus on resources available for students observing religious holidays suring frosh wek.

“We always have information about various elements of diversity but this year we will be increasing the amount of information about observances occuring during the week,” Gudmundsson said.

The new schedule still does little to accommodate for Muslim morning-prayer on Eid al-Fitre. Muslim students can meet with their faculty groups after morning-prayer ends on Sept. 10. But no changes have been made to the already optional morning schedule on Sept. 10.

Rosh Hashanah is a holy Jewish holiday that is traditionally celebrated with the family. Eid al-Fitre is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.

The changes to the Orientation Week schedule were put forward by the Senate Orientation Activities Review Board (SOARB) after consulting with Queen’s Residences, ORT, Queen’s Hillel, Queen’s University Muslim Students Association, Queen’s Ismaili Muslim Students Association and staff and faculty involved in Orientation Week. The changes were approved on April 22.

One of the proposed changes was presented by Queen’s Hillel who suggested switching faculty and residence orientation events to allow Jewish students to participate in more faculty events.

Rudnicki feels that the scheduling changes of Orientation Week are a move in the right direction.

“A lot of bodies came together to reach a compromise, and these changes are a great way to move forward,” Rudnicki said.

Correction

The cafeteria will be extending its operational hours to accommodate students fasting during frosh week.

Incorrect information originally appeared in this article.

The Journal regrets the error.

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