New bill could give CSUN students Veteran’s Day off

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A new bill passed by the California State Senate could give CSUN students Veteran’s Day off, but could also relocate the lost academic day to another part of the semester.

Assembly Bill 720 would require all 23 California State University campuses to observe Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11. CSUN currently observes Veteran’s Day on Dec. 28 as part of winter break. The holiday is one of seven that CSU campuses must observe, but can reschedule if individual academic calendars require it.

Five CSU campuses – CSU Bakersfield, CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Stanislaus, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Cal Poly Pomona – observe Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11.

Assembly member Michael Villines, R–29th District, said he wrote the bill after he attended a Veteran’s Day parade and realized that the Fresno State students in attendance had missed class to observe the holiday.

“You have to remember that a lot of students are also veterans,” Villines said. “This is a real win for students.”

The bill has moved through the Legislature with little to no opposition. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously, and the Senate floor vote was 28 to one. The bill’s proponents now look for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature.

Former California Secretary of Education and Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan initially voiced opposition to the bill, but was unavailable for comment.

All K–12 schools and UC campuses observe Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11.

“Veteran’s Day should be observed as the Tier One holiday it is,” Villines said, meaning that the holiday deserves the same designation as Labor Day.

Some members of the CSUN community are not excited about the extra day off.

Sociology professor James David Ballard said he would gladly give up an extra day off during the semester to keep the total length of the semester shorter.

“If you give someone a day off, you need to add another day of class somewhere to makeup those lost hours,” Ballard said. “How would you like to come back to school on the day after Thanksgiving?”

Rachel Blavin, sophomore film and pre-CTVA major said that although it would not make a difference to her whether she got Veteran’s Day off, she could imagine how important it must be to people that personally know veterans.

“A lot of people support our troops overseas, and this would give them a day to honor them and pay their respects,” Blavin said.

Connie Llanos can be reached at connie.llanos.600@csun.edu.