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Monday, May 23, 2022

Gabriela Mayer’s petition for no exams on Jewish holidays brought her to Tigert Hall.

The UF civil engineering junior met with UF’s associate provost for undergraduate affairs, Angela Lindner, on Wednesday to discuss the petition, which gained a total of 1,600 signatures since its creation in October. But Lindner said she couldn’t create an official policy barring professors from scheduling exams on Jewish holidays because she’d have to include all other religions.

"There are so many faiths that our students observe that it would be very difficult," she said. "It would actually hamper the progression of the semester."

Mayer, 20, said she created the petition after she had to take a materials course exam while fasting for Yom Kippur. She said Lindner was open to creating change on campus.

"She wants to spread more awareness of when the Jewish holidays are," Mayer said.

Lindner said she will regularly notify faculty of holidays so they can avoid scheduling large assembly exams during them.

"Our mission is to make sure that we have an environment on campus that is fair to all students," she said.

While Hanukkah begins Sunday, Mayer said she ultimately wants no exams to be scheduled on Judaism’s holiest holidays: Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

"Hanukkah’s fun," she said, "but it’s not as religious or sacred as the other holidays are."

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