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Enrollment and Student Academic Information Bulletin

Accommodations for Religious Observances

Bloomington Faculty Council Action (Approved February 15, 2000; last amended April 21, 2009) link

Introduction

It is the policy of Indiana University that instructors must reasonably accommodate students who want to observe their religious holidays at times when academic requirements conflict with those observances. This policy is intended to ensure that both faculty and students are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities in the accommodation of students' religious observances.

Policy

Indiana University respects the right of all students to observe their religious holidays and will make reasonable accommodation, upon request, for such observances.

Procedures

  • The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs will prepare, for guidance, a list of dates of the major religious holidays. This list, policy, and a note to the effect that students wanting accommodations for observance of religious holidays must contact their instructors, will be brought to the attention of both students and faculty. The Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs will write regularly to the various deans and chairs, indicating that they, in turn, are to inform the faculty (including associate instructors under their supervision) concerning this policy and of the importance of observing it.
  • If a conflict with a religious observance exists, a student must make a request for a reasonable accommodation for that observance by the end of the second week of the course. Any relevant change to the course calendar affords a new opportunity to make such a request in a timely manner. The request is to be in writing on a standardized form to be used for this purpose, and copies of that form will be made widely available.
  • The instructor and the student should discuss what a reasonable accommodation should include in a given case. Generally, it is insufficient to require a student to forego taking an exam or doing some other major assignment even if the instructor agrees to average the remaining exams or other assignments. The student must be given the opportunity to do appropriate make-up work that is intrinsically no more difficult than the original exam or assignment.
  • If the instructor and student agree on the accommodation, the plan should be carried out.
  • If after discussion there is no consensus on the accommodation, either party or both may ask the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs to mediate. The VPFAA will confer with both the instructor and the student, and may seek advice from anyone else who could provide helpful information. If the instructor and student still cannot reach consensus over the accommodation, the VPFAA will then make a determination about the appropriate accommodation.
  • Either the instructor or the student may appeal the VPFAA's decision to the Office of Affirmative Action. Final authority for determining the outcome rests with the Provost.

Recommendations

  • The policy and procedure above are to be printed in Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct: Procedures for Bloomington Campus.
  • All instructors are encouraged to include on the syllabus and to announce at the beginning of the semester the policy and procedure as it applies to religious holidays.
  • Orientation programs for new students will inform incoming students about this policy and urge them to check for conflicts before the deadline for informing their instructors. Particular attention should be paid, in this matter, to the orientation of international students.

Religious Holidays

A five-year calendar of selected major religious holidays can be found on the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs web site at http://www.indiana.edu/~vpfaa/ .  The site also provides access to the campus religious observations policy in the Academic Guide and to the student form for Request for Accommodations.

Note: Students wanting accommodations for observance of other religious holidays should contact their instructors as indicated in the procedures outlined at this web site of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs: http://www.indiana.edu/~vpfaa/forms/index.shtml . Additional information on Religious Holidays and Accommodations is also available at the above web site.

Spring 2014

Gantan-sai (New Years)ShintoJan. 1 Wednesday
Feast of the NativityEastern Orthodox Jan. 7 Tuesday
Mawlid-al-Nabi [Muhammed's birthday]Islamic Jan. 13*# Monday
Asian Lunar New Year [Year of the Horse]Chinese Jan. 31 Friday
PurimJewish Mar. 16* Sunday
Vernal Equinox (EST)Mar. 20 Thursday
Naw-Ruz/Iranian New YearBahá'i Mar. 21* Friday
Palm SundayWestern Christian Apr. 13Sunday
Palm SundayEastern Orthodox Apr. 13Sunday
Passover (Pesach), 1st two daysJewish Apr. 15-16* Tues.-Wed.
Good FridayWestern Christian Apr. 18Friday
Holy FridayEastern Orthodox Apr. 18Friday
EasterWestern Christian Apr. 20Sunday
PaschaEastern Orthodox Apr. 20Sunday
Ridvan Festival, 1st of 12 daysBaha'i Apr. 21* Monday
Passover (Pesach), concluding days Jewish Apr.21-22* Mon.-Tues.
9th Day of RidvanBahá'i Apr. 29* Tuesday
12th Day of RidvanBahá'i May 2* Friday

*Holy days start at sundown on evening preceding first day and end at sundown or nightfall of concluding date.

#All dates are from Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) adopted Islamic Calendar. For events based on sightability of the moon in North America, those denoted with "#" will be the next day from these dates.

Summer 2014

Declaration of the Báb Bahá'iMay 23* Friday
Ascension of Baha'u'llah Bahá'i May 29* Thursday
Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) Jewish June 4-5* Wed.-Thurs.
Summer Solstice (EST)   June 21 Saturday
Martyrdom of the Báb Bahá'i July 9* Wednesday

*Holy days start at sundown on evening preceding first day and end at sundown or nightfall of concluding date.

#All dates are from Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) adopted Islamic Calendar. For events based on sightability of the moon in North America, those denoted with "#" will be the next day from these dates.

Fall 2014

Beginning of RamadanIslamic June 28*# Saturday
Eid al-Fitr (Eid-ul-Fitr)
(first day of Shawwal)
Islamic July 28* Monday
Autumn Equinox (EDT) Sept. 22 Monday
Rosh Hashanah [New Year]Jewish Sept. 25-26* Thurs.-Fri.
Eid al-AdhaIslamic Oct. 4*# Saturday
Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement] Jewish Oct. 4* Saturday
Sukkot [Feast of Tabernacles]Jewish Oct. 9-10* Thurs.-Fri.
Shemini Atzeret & Simchat TorahJewish Oct. 16-17* Thurs.-Fri.
Birth of the BábBahá'i Oct. 20* Monday
Al-Hijra (Muharram) [New Year]Islamic Oct. 25* Saturday
Ashura (10th day of Muharram)Islamic Nov. 3* Monday
Birth of Bahá'u'lláhBahá'i Nov. 12* Wednesday
Day of the CovenantBahá'i Nov. 26* Wednesday
Ascension of 'Abdu'l-BaháBahá'i Nov. 28* Friday
Bodhi Day (Rohatsu)BuddhistDec. 8 Monday
Hanukkah (Chanukah) [8-day Feast]Jewish Dec. 17-24* Wed.-Wed.
Winter Solstice (EST) Dec. 21 Sunday
ChristmasWestern ChristianDec. 25 Thursday
KwanzaaInterfaith/ African-AmericanDec. 26-Jan. 1 Fri.-Thurs.

*Holy days start at sundown on evening preceding first day and end at sundown or nightfall of concluding date.

#All dates are from Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) adopted Islamic Calendar. For events based on sightability of the moon in North America, those denoted with "#" will be the next day from these dates.