RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS

Here is a list of major religious holidays that may affect a student’s participation in classes.  In order to foster a diverse and inclusive learning environment and in keeping with New York State law, found here, the Colleges have adopted the following policy regarding religious observance:

No student shall be prevented from participating in any examination, study, or work requirements because of religious obligations and practices. The Colleges accept the responsibility of making available to each student who is absent from class because of religious obligations and practices an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirements missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. In effecting these provisions, the Colleges' administration and faculty agree to exercise the fullest measure of good faith and agree that no adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student who avails himself or herself of the Colleges' policy on religious observances. It is the student’s obligation to inform faculty of any necessary accommodation well in advance of the date on which special accommodations are needed.  (HWS Faculty Handbook, March 2017)

Some of our students come from very strong religious and cultural backgrounds where no classes are held on Rosh Ha-Shanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali, Eid al-Fitr, etc.  Here are concrete ways you can support your religiously observant students.

  1. Avoid scheduling tests, major quizzes, field trips, major lectures and large campus events on major holidays.
  2. Include a reminder of our campus policy in your syllabus.
  3. Note the responsibilities students have in requesting accommodation.
  4. Note the ways you anticipate providing accommodations.
  5. Talk about the issue when you address your attendance policy at the start of the semester.
  6. Encourage your students to convey to you in advance when they will miss a previously scheduled class or examination due to religious observance so that they will not be disadvantaged by their religious practice

Maurice Charles,
Chaplain of the Colleges



Religious Holidays Fall 2017 – Spring 2020


2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall Semester

1-4 September

Eid al-Adha (Muslim)

20 evening-22 September

Rosh Hashanah

29 evening-30 September

Yom Kippur

4 evening-6 October

Sukkot (first days are considered "Holy")

11 evening-12 October

Shemini Atzeret (closing of Sukkot)

12 evening-13 October

Simchat Torah

19 October

Diwali (Hindu)

Spring Semester

25-31 March

Holy Week (Western Christian)

30 March evening-1 April

Passover (first days)
(Friday evening March 30 first seder)

1 April

Easter (Western Christian)

1-7 April

Orthodox Holy Week

5-7 April

Passover (last days)

8 April

Orthodox Easter

15 May-14 June

Ramadan (US Muslim)

14-15 June

Eid al-Fitr (US Muslim)


2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall Semester

23-26 August

Eid al-Adha (Muslim)

9 evening -11 September

Rosh Hashanah

18 evening-19 September

Yom Kippur

23 evening-25 September

Sukkot (first days are considered "Holy")

30 September-1 October

Shemini Atzeret (closing of Sukkot)

1 evening-2 October

Simchat Torah

7 November

Diwali (Hindu)

Spring Semester

14-20 April

Holy Week (Western Christian)

19 evening-21 April

Passover (first days)
(Friday evening April 19 first seder)

21 April

Easter (Western Christian)

21-27 April

Orthodox Holy Week

25 evening-27 April

Passover (last days)

28 April

Orthodox Easter

5 May-4 June

Ramadan (US Muslim)

4-5 June

Eid al-Fitr (US Muslim)


2019-2020 Academic Year

Fall Semester

12-15 August

Eid al-Adha (Muslim)

29 September evening-1 October

Rosh Hashanah

8 evening-9 October

Yom Kippur

13 evening-15 October

Sukkot (first days are considered "Holy")

20 evening-21 October

Shemini Atzeret (closing of Sukkot)

21 evening-22 October

Simchat Torah

27 October

Diwali (Hindu)

Spring Semester

5-11 April

Holy Week (Western Christian)

8 evening-10 April

Passover - first days
Wednesday evening 4/8 (first seder)

12 April

Easter (Western Christian)

12-18 April

Orthodox Holy Week

14 evening-16 April

Passover – last days

19 April

Orthodox Easter

23 April-23 May

Ramadan (US Muslim)

23-24 May

Eid al-Fitr (US Muslim)

POLICY

The Colleges’ policy on religious observance includes the following: “The Colleges accept the responsibility of making available to each student who is absent from class because of religious obligations and practices an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study or work requirement missed.”

Jewish and Muslim holidays begin the evening before.

CONTACT

If you have any questions about interpreting the policy or other concerns or corrections, please contact the Office for Spiritual Engagement at (315) 781-3671 or tufano@hws.edu.

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Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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