Religious Holidays Absence Policies
The following policies are in place in an effort to create an affirming environment for persons of faith at Southwestern. If you have any questions about these policies, please contact us.
Please note that this policy is a separate policy from the “University Policies Related To Religious Observance Days and University Events” that is also included in this memo. Students may select days of religious observance absence according to their own preference and need.
The following is the Religious Holidays Policy, as stated on page 99 in the 2012-2013 Student Handbook and in the 2012-2013 Faculty Handbook:
Religious Holidays Absence: Southwestern University recognizes that it has students from a variety of religious and cultural traditions that have special days of observance or celebration that may take students out of their regular activities on certain days during the school year. Since the academic calendar does not always coincide with these days, the following policy is to be followed in order to facilitate student absences due to cultural and religious observances.
Students’ classroom responsibilities:
§ As far in advance as possible, the student is expected to notify the professor(s) or instructor(s) of the class(es) to be missed
§ The student is expected to learn what assignments or exams are due or will be assigned on those dates and negotiate with the professor(s) or instructor(s) alternate times for fulfilling those requirements. Students should be prepared to fulfill the requirements prior to the class(es) to be missed
STUDENT EMPLOYEES AND UNIVERSITY STAFF
As stated on page 49 of the January 2012 Staff Handbook under Employee Benefits - Holidays:
The University will make reasonable accommodations to employees who wish to observe religious holidays that do not fall on one of the “traditional” holidays by allowing the employee to take such a day off. This time off may be without pay or employees may use accrued vacation time. In addition, the President may designate certain religious holidays that may be substituted for other holidays.
In working with student employees, the practice may also include a change in work hours, in a given pay period, to accommodate absences due to religious observances.
Faculty Absence from Classes and Substitutes Policy, as stated in the 2012-2013 Faculty Handbook:
Faculty members are expected to meet all classes for which they are scheduled. Necessary absences should be reported in advance to the department chair. Department chairs should report their own absences to the Provost. In cases of extended absences, the department chair should notify the Provost of the Dean of the School of Fine Arts, when applicable, about the use of substitute teachers.
Scheduling Special Events and Priority Events
(Text below is taken from the 2012 - 2013 Faculty Handbook)
SCHEDULING SPECIAL EVENTS
All academic scheduling (classes, labs, etc.) is handled by the Registrar’s Office and takes precedence in event scheduling and facilities usage. The Academic Calendar is approved a year in advance by the Academic Affairs Council and the Faculty. No events involving students are to be scheduled during the periods designated as “study days” and “final examinations” at the end of each semester. Meetings involving faculty may be scheduled during the period from the beginning of final examinations through the deadline for semester grades only if there is urgent semester-end business to be transacted. Exceptions to these restrictions must be approved in advance by the Provost.
Requests for event space should not be made if the event coincides with the University Priority Events. Priority events are those events to which no student, faculty, or staff member may be denied the opportunity to attend because of a conflicting meeting or event.
- All Chapel Services (including Candlelight Services)
- All Homecoming Activities
- Parent Orientation
- The Brown Symposium
- Commencement and other special convocations (Matriculation and Honors Convocation)
- Study Days and Final Examinations
- Town Meetings
- Shilling Lecture Series
- Writer’s Voice
Scheduled Chapel Services for 2012-2013 include:
Thursdays (during reg. semester) Weekly Chapel 11:25am-12:15pm
Tuesdays (during regular semester) Tuesday Night Worship 9:00pm - 10:00pm
Sunday, August 19, 2012 Orientation Worship Service 10:00am-10:45pm
Sunday, November 4, 2012 Homecoming Worship Service 11:00am-12:00pm
Thursday, December 6, 2012 Candlelight Advent Service 6:00pm & 8:00pm
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Baccalaureate Service 10:30am-11:30am
University Policies Related To Religious Observance Days and University Events
In respect of diverse faiths and to enable as many persons as possible to attend major University functions, a listing of commonly observed religious holidays, holy days and observances have been identified, agreed upon and listed here. The University functions listed below are not to take place during the agreed upon religious observance days. If an event is scheduled on one of these days, the event must be re-scheduled or canceled.
Please note that the major University events listed are:
- Events that persons in our community are required to attend and/or
- Events of a campus-wide nature that do not have mandatory attendance; however, persons miss out on a very important opportunity of inclusion in the campus community by not attending.
- One time opportunities for persons to participate and/or receive the services rendered on that day.
The list of religious observance dates and major University functions are listed below and may be revised as the needs of our community change.
Religious observance dates identified for this policy:
Jewish Islamic Christian
Rosh Hashana Eid al-Fitr Christmas Day
Yom Kippur Eid al-Adha Good Friday
Pesach (Passover) Easter Day
2012-2013 Religious observance dates (in chronological order):
Sunday, August 19, 2012 Eid al-Fitr* begins at sundown
Monday, August 20, 2012 Eid al-Fitr*
Sunday, September 16, 2012 Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown
Mon. & Tue., September 17-18, 2012 Rosh Hashanah
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 Yom Kippur begins at sundown
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 Yom Kippur
Thursday, October 25, 2012 Eid al-Adha* begins at sundown
Friday, October 26, 2012 Eid al-Adha*
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 Christmas
Monday, March 25, 2013 Pesach begins at sundown
Tue. & Wed., March 26-27, 2013 Pesach (Passover, first two days)
Friday, March 29, 2013 Good Friday
Sunday, March 31, 2013 Easter
* The Islamic dates are tentative based on estimates of the visibility of the lunar crescent. As such, these observances may start slightly earlier or later than predicted. For assistance with dates go to http://webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-islamic.html
2013-2014 Religious Observance Dates (in chronological order):
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 Eid al-Fitr* begins at sundown
Thursday, August 8, 2013 Eid al-Fitr*
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown
Thu. & Fri., September 5-6, 2013 Rosh Hashanah
Friday, September 13, 2013 Yom Kippur begins at sundown
Saturday, September 14, 2013 Yom Kippur
Monday, October 14, 2013 Eid al-Adha* begins at sundown
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 Eid al-Adha*
Wednesday, December 25, 2013 Christmas
Monday, April 15, 2014 Pesach begins at sundown
Tue. & Wed., April 16-17, 2014 Pesach (Passover, first two days)
Friday, April 18, 2014 Good Friday
Sunday, April 20, 2014 Easter
University Functions not to be scheduled on religious observance dates stated above:
- Board of Trustees Meetings
- Board of Visitors Meetings
- Brown Symposium
- Career Fairs
- Commencement and other special convocations
- Family Days
- Final Examinations
- Housing sign-ups
- Matriculation Convocation
- Prospective Student Visit Programs
- Scholarship Interview Days
- Shilling Lecture
- Student Orientation/Parent Orientation
- Town Meetings
- Writer’s Voice