Throughout the course of the academic year various religious groups celebrate their high holidays. While not all of them warrant an absence from class time or athletic events, some might. Here is a list of the dates of the major holidays from various religious traditions for the current academic year and Hamilton’s policy on missing class or practice for religious observance.

College Policy on Absence Related to Religious Observance

In compliance with New York Education Law pertaining to institutions of higher education, Hamilton College affirms that “…each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, must be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days.” Further as provided by this law, “no adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his or her availing himself or herself of the provisions of this section.”

Students have the responsibility of notifying faculty members, at the beginning of each semester, of classes or course requirements that will conflict with religious observances. Students and faculty members are expected to exercise flexibility in negotiating alternative arrangements; students are responsible for making up the work that they miss but will be allowed to do so without penalty, provided that they do so within the terms of their arrangement with the instructor. Faculty members are expected to inform students before the Add deadline if there are requirements for the course, such as field trips or performance dates that are inflexible.

Coaches and athletes are expected to make similar negotiations concerning conflicts between religious observances and practices and contests. Student organizations should inform themselves of potential conflicts with religious holidays in scheduling meetings and requiring attendance at extracurricular events.

For clarification about the application of this policy, students may consult New York State Education Law, section 224-a, their advisors, a chaplain or member of the Chapel Board, or a dean.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact anyone at the Chaplaincy office.

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