CSU Policy: Religious Holidays & Observances

Policy Title: Religious Holidays & Observances Category: Academic Affairs/Faculty
Owner: Provost/Executive Vice President Policy ID#: 1-1001-017
Provost/Executive Vice President
Web: http://provost.colostate.edu/
Phone: (970) 491-6614

Also Contact:
Office of Equal Opportunity
Web: http://oeo.colostate.edu/
Email: oeo@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-5836
Original Effective Date: 6/3/2014
Last Revision: 1/7/2015
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The University has an obligation to do its utmost to accommodate students of all religious faiths; the practice of a person's religious faith is constitutionally protected.  We recognize that, in order to observe their faith, some students must be absent from classes or miss scheduled exams from time to time.  It is important that students not be penalized for participation in religious holidays and observances. Therefore, students should be allowed, whenever practicable, to avoid missing an academic assignment or exam  due to such absences, when doing so will not create an unreasonable burden on the instructor or the institution, or result in any unfairness to others.
There are several important principles summarized here:
1.      Religious accommodation will be granted when reasonable. Some key principles in determining the reasonableness of the request include 1) whether the request will compromise the academic integrity of the course and/or program, 2) how equitable the accommodation will be with respect to requirements other students are held to, and 3) whether the accommodation will lead to the student missing a significant part of the regularly-scheduled course activities for the semester.
2.      Students also have responsibilities. Some of these include 1) in cases where the religious obligation is a scheduled one, students have the responsibility to notify the instructor at the beginning of the course, 2) for religious obligations that cannot be known in advance, students have the responsibility to notify the instructor as soon as practicable, 3) in cases where the religious obligation is a recurring one, students have the responsibility to sign up for courses that can actually be attended, etc.
3.      In most cases, students should be given the opportunity to complete the work in question in another way and/or on a different day and/or at a different time.
4.      There are limits to what is reasonable. For instance, most people would find it "unreasonable" to miss one day of class or lab every week of the semester.  In such cases the course should be taken at another time and/or semester to avoid these types of conflicts.
Please be aware of major religious holidays when planning events and exams.





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