Policies on Religious Observances and Class Examinations
New York State Education Law provides that “Students...who are unable, because of their religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day... shall... be excused from examination or any study or work requirement.” The Academic Senate has provided the following guidelines for accommodating conflicts between religious observances and class examinations:
- Faculty are requested not to schedule examinations, require in-class assignments to be due, or give surprise quizzes on the following holidays: Jewish New Year, Yom Kippur, Sukkot (first and last two days), Passover (first and last two days) and Shavuot.
- In case examinations must be scheduled on one of these previously mentioned days, all efforts should be made by the student and faculty member to schedule a make-up examination or assignment.
- The faculty member must make a reasonable accommodation with regard to the examination, assignment, or quiz missed for reason of a religious holiday. If the faculty member does not accommodate the student, the student has the right to apply to the department chairperson for such accommodation. If the department chairperson has what he or she considers adequate reasons for denying the request, the student has the right to apply to the Scholastic Standards Committee.
- The Academic Senate recommends that students inform their professors of any religious obligations, when such obligations conflict with class attendance or other College responsibilities; College faculty shall accommodate students' religious obligations, to the extent possible, provided that advance notice of these obligations is given by the student; the offices of the Academic Senate shall maintain information about religious calendars for the purpose of consultation by faculty wishing information; this policy shall be added to the College Bulletins, published in the campus newspapers at the start of each semester, placed in the information booklets for freshmen and transfer students, and distributed to the faculty each term with the information note that Provost sends concerning specific religious holidays.