8.2 Absences for Religious Holy Days

(3/99; amended 11/00; 8/9/19

Effective August 9, 2019, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version

The University is prepared to make reasonable accommodations for students whose religious holy days coincide with their classroom assignments, test schedules, and classroom attendance expectations. Accommodations will be made in a manner which is consistent with the University Policy on Human Rights (see II-3) and does not unfairly burden instructors and students.

  1. Excused absences. Students who notify their instructor of a religious holy day conflict shall be excused from class or other scheduled academic activity to observe a religious holy day of their faith. Students must notify their instructors during the first few days of the semester or session, and no later than the third week of the semester. If the absence will occur within the first three weeks of the semester, the student should notify the instructor as soon as possible.

    Students who notify their instructors of a religious holy day conflict within the timeframe above shall be permitted a reasonable amount of time to make up the material or activities covered in their absence, including tests. Students who receive an exemption on religious grounds cannot be penalized for failing to attend class on the days exempted. The instructor may, however, appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete any alternative assignment or examination.

    Students with attendance conflicts may be required to notify an instructor in writing. An instructor who requires written notice must inform the class of this expectation in the class syllabus. An instructor may deny a student's request for an excused absence on the ground that the request was not made within a reasonable time period, that is, no later than the third week of class or as soon as possible if the absence will occur within the first three weeks of the semester.
  2. Denial of requests. In those cases where a request for an excused absence based upon a religious holy day conflict is denied by the instructor, a student may pursue a grievance under "Student Complaints Concerning Faculty Actions" (see General Regulations Applying to Students and Policies and Regulations Affecting Students). Where a timely request is made but denied by the instructor, the grievance process shall be expedited as much as reasonably possible to ensure that a student pursuing a religious holy day accommodation is not unduly disadvantaged by the passage of time.