Holidays for Reasons of Faith and Conscience - Students - Archived

Archived: Archived
Effective Date: January 29, 2019
Steward: Provost and VP for Student & Academic Life
Approval Authority: President and Vice Presidents

Categories

Updated Version:
Approval Date: January 29, 2019

Purpose/Rationale:

  • Students are entitled to up to two days of excused absences per academic year for holidays for reasons of faith or conscience or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization
  • To ensure that a student’s academic credits are not adversely impacted by the absences
  • Identify the procedure for requesting holidays

Definitions:

  • Each absence taken under this policy must be taken as a whole day, i.e. the day may not be divided into hours and taken in parts
  • As used in this policy, "academic year" means: fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters 
  • “Student workers” are addressed in the policy regarding Unpaid Holidays for Reasons of Faith and Conscience

Applies to:

  • Students

Procedure:

  1. Students are responsible for providing written notification within the first two weeks of the quarter indicating the desired date(s) of the absence.
    • Notification for authorized absences occurring within the first two weeks of the quarter must be submitted as soon as reasonably possible
    • All requests for authorized absence under this policy must be given to the student’s faculty
    • The notification must contain an explanation of how the requested holiday is related to a reason of faith or conscience or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization
    • The notification must specify whether the request is for the first of two, or the second of two, desired absences; and attest that these are the only two absences requested for these purposes during the academic year
  1. Two absences per year under this policy must be approved by the student’s faculty unless doing so poses an undue hardship to the College. 
    • If a student fails to notify their faculty in advance of a requested absence, the faculty is not obligated to make an accommodation for the student’s absence or treat the absence as authorized under this policy
    • Faculty will not authorize an absence for a student after the absence occurs without compelling circumstances
    • A student may appeal a faculty member’s decision to their reporting Dean; the Dean’s role is to apply College policies and ensure fair processes
  1. Faculty may not penalize students for approved absences under this policy.
    • Penalty in the form of credit loss may be appealed through the Amending Student Records policy; parties to a dispute over credit award or interpretation of this policy should contact the faculty member’s reporting Dean as soon as possible
    • The provisions of the College Non-Discrimination Policy include religious faith, and provides guidance in the event of unfair treatment
  1. After the faculty approves the request for absence, the faculty will determine what reasonable adjustments, if any, will need to be made to the student’s academic program activities. 
    • Faculty will inform the student of these adjustments within two (2) instructional days of approving the request
  1. Students are responsible for requesting, and faculty for providing, information and material missed on the day(s) of absence; experiential learning (field study, labs, etc.) is addressed in point (7) below.  
    • Being absent from an academic program activity does not excuse the student from responsibility for any part of the required program activity during the period of absence
    • If the student fails to satisfactorily complete an academic program activity, the faculty member may apply the same consequences or evaluation process held for other students 
  1. Students shall be given a reasonable time to make up class assignments and academic program activities; in most circumstances one week to ten days.
    • Every attempt will be made to schedule make-up examinations or substitute assignments at a time and place mutually agreeable to the faculty member and student, cover only the material for which the student was originally responsible, and be at a comparable level of difficulty with the original examination
    • In the event that a group of students requires the same make-up examination or substitute assignment, one time and place may be scheduled
    • If the student fails to satisfactorily complete an academic program activity, the faculty member may apply the same consequences or evaluation process held for other students 
  1. Faculty may plan program syllabi with religious holidays in mind.
    • Faculty are encouraged to plan program syllabi to minimize the possibility that students will need to seek accommodation for critical program activities (such as field trips, labs, and examinations)
  1. Faculty and academic staff are encouraged to plan major events (such as orientation to the academic statement, mentorship days, and academic fairs) on days and times that maximize equal and fair student access to such events, and that provide alternate dates for such events as needed.
  1. The Academic Deans annually refer faculty, for planning purposes, to a list of dates associated with faith-based practices and observances.

 

Also see:

RCW 28B.10.039