Pledge to avoid Yom Tov clashes

By Marcus Dysch, September 27, 2011

Birkbeck College and the University of London Union have pledged to work harder to ensure Freshers' Week events do not clash with Jewish festivals or Shabbat.

Jewish students taking politics courses at Birkbeck were surprised to discover their induction evening was planned for this evening, clashing with both Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat.

ULU's Freshers' Fair was also due to take place today.

Danny Stone, studying for a Masters at Birkbeck, raised the issue with university bosses and provided them with calendars showing when the festivals will take place for the next 10 years. In response, both the college and union said they would work to "minimise" such clashes in future.

Mr Stone said: "Conflicts do and will happen but this has been a long-standing problem. Universities must get better at drilling these issues into their decision making processes."

Birkbeck ran diversity and equality sessions for staff and students last week, including a talk by Reverend Bernd Koschland about extremism and cultural intolerance.

Last updated: 9:27am, September 28 2011