VSU is altering summer semester timelines to account for Juneteenth, a federal holiday and what many consider to be the U.S.’ second Independence Day.
Juneteenth, or June 19, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the U.S.
Although the Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery in 1863, freedom would not come for all until June 19, 1865.
Even though that day has been celebrated since then, Texas was the first to make it a state holiday in 1980, over 100 years later.
President Joe Biden signed legislation in June 2021 to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
Georgia has recognized the holiday since 2011; however, 2022 was the first year the holiday was a paid holiday, according to Pew Research Center.
In observance of Juneteenth, VSU’s scheduling committee is working to move summer schedules so courses will not be affected by the national holiday.
For Summer 2024, the proposed semester start date would move from June 12 to June 11.
For Summer 2025, the proposed semester start date would move from June 11 to June 10.
However, Summer 2023 will not be changed.
“As this holiday was mandated after the students’ registration already started, we were not able to change the summer schedule for this year,” said Dr. Yakov Woldman, chairman of VSU’s Scheduling Committee. “So, we suggested to faculty who miss the instruction hours to add individually online or face-to-face hours, keeping in mind the best interests of students.”
Adding a day to the summer semesters will ensure that students still have the same number of scheduled course days to complete their work.
Written by Angel Davis, Copy and News Editor. Photo courtesy of UCCS.