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Gettysburg College Religious Inclusion Policy

Gettysburg College is fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. If they choose, all students, faculty, administrators, and support staff have the right to engage in essential practices of their faith while minimizing conflict with work, academic or athletic requirements. The official Gettysburg College calendar recognizes and includes all major Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist holidays. Notations are made in the 25Live events management system to designate the official beginning and ending times of these holidays.

In order to recognize the practices of members of our Gettysburg College community, the College follows the following guidelines:

For Students:

Students in charge of scheduling campus-wide events, such as lectures and performances, should not schedule those to occur during religious holidays, with the exception of events in celebration of those holidays.

It is the responsibility of the student to arrange their schedule to minimize conflicts.  As soon as possible but no later than the end of the drop/add period, each student has the responsibility to inform the course instructor, coach or supervisor about religious observances that are likely to conflict directly with academic, campus, or other required extracurricular activities. 

Once the Religious Observance Accommodation Form has been submitted, the student and faculty member, coach, or supervisor must converse and agree upon what would constitute a reasonable accommodation (i.e., missing a class, extending an assignment deadline, rescheduling an exam or assignment without penalty, etc.) for holidays (examples could include Good Friday, Yom Kippur, Eid al Adha, etc.). Once the student and faculty member, coach, or supervisor agree upon an accommodation, then the accommodation must be included on the Religious Observance Accommodation Form and carried out as agreed. Both parties are required to retain copies for their records. If the student and faculty member, coach, or supervisor cannot agree on a reasonable accommodation, either party may bring the matter to the department chair or departmental director who will then determine the accommodation.

For Faculty/Administrators/Support Staff:

Gettysburg College urges faculty, administrators, and support staff members to be sensitive to religious holidays when scheduling events or major assignments in order to avoid conflict.

Individuals in charge of scheduling campus-wide events, such as lectures and performances, should not schedule those to occur during religious holidays, with the exception of events in celebration of those holidays.

For Faculty, the use of vacation leave is governed by the Faculty Handbook. Requests by a faculty member for leave for religious accommodation, however, shall be considered under this Policy if the faculty member has made arrangements for any missed classes and the granting of the leave will not result in undue hardship for the College. Faculty that miss scheduled class time due to a religious observance must make appropriate alternate arrangements for that missed time to minimize impact on the students’ learning and inform the department chair of those arrangements.

For Administrators and Support Staff, the use of vacation leave is governed by the Employee Handbook. Vacation days requested for the express purpose of religious observance will not be unreasonably denied by the staff member’s supervisor if the staff member has accrued vacation leave and the granting of leave or vacation time will not result in undue hardship for the Department or the College.

Retaliation:

Any attempt to retaliate against an individual who files a religious accommodation request or otherwise utilizes this Policy is strictly prohibited.

Nothing in this Policy exempts a Gettysburg College student, faculty member, administrator, or support staff member from fulfilling their respective academic and job responsibilities. Violations of this policy will be reported to the Chief Diversity Officer and resolved with the assistance of the appropriate Vice President or the Provost.

Procedures for Accommodations

Requests for accommodations due to participation or observance of religious holidays must be made through the Religious Observance Accommodation Form. As indicated on the form, students should submit the form to their faculty member, coach, or supervisor. Faculty and employees should submit the form to their department chair or supervisor. Submission of the form does not equal approval of the request.

Approved by the Student Life Committee, December 2015