Guidance for Religious Observance for Students

At the heart of Gettysburg College’s mission to provide students with a diverse and inclusive learning environment is its commitment to honoring the worth and dignity of all people. This mission extends to the celebration of and respect for our community’s rich religious diversity. Our faculty, staff, and students represent a multitude of religions and faith-based traditions – each with their own set of beliefs, practices, and observances. Gettysburg College understands that religion and faith often play a deeply personal and distinctive role in the lives of members of our community.

In accordance with our mission, the College makes a reasonable effort to support students seeking an accommodation for religious observance. Students who anticipate needing an accommodation for religious observance are encouraged to talk with their faculty, coaches, and supervisors about minimizing conflict with classes and assignments, as well as work or athletic requirements.

Students may request an accommodation for any religious observance.

Consistent with the Policy on Class Attendance published in the Gettysburg College Faculty Handbook, class absences will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and students are responsible for making up any work missed as the result of an accommodation. As soon as reasonably possible, in order to provide sufficient time to discuss, each student has the responsibility to communicate with their course instructors about religious observances that are likely to conflict directly with academic coursework or assignments. Students are also responsible for fulfilling athletic and work commitments and should communicate with athletic coaches and work supervisors to discuss anticipated absences for religious observance.

If a student will be seeking accommodation due to religious observance, students should be prepared to discuss the following with their faculty, coaches, and supervisors:

  • Nature of religious observance
  • Date(s) and times
  • Specific accommodation needed to support observance
  • Timeframe to complete missed work
  • Any special considerations

Students who need support or would like to discuss how to communicate with faculty, coaches, or supervisors may contact Rev. Dr. Kristin Largen, Associate Dean for Religious and Spiritual Life and College Chaplain at (717) 337-6280 or klargen@gettysburg.edu. Apart from helping students address absences due to religious observances, discussion between students, faculty, and staff will help foster passionate curiosity about the many different religious traditions represented in our community and will create opportunities for enriching interfaith dialogue and exploration.

The College wishes to draw attention to the following observances which are time sensitive in nature. Please review the Religious and Spiritual Life calendar for additional information:

Spring 2019 Semester

  • Passover (Judaism; Remembrance of the Exodus): Begins the evening of Friday, April 19, 2019, and concludes the evening of Saturday, April 27, though the first two days are typically most important. For this reason, the College holds on its calendar only the evening of Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21.
  • Easter (Christian; Resurrection of Jesus): Sunday, April 21, 2019. The College holds this date on its calendar.
  • Eid al-Fitr (Islam; Celebration of the end of Ramadan): Begins the evening of Tuesday, June 4, 2019, and concludes the evening of Wednesday, June 5, 2019. The College holds this period on its calendar.

2019-2020 Academic Year

  • Eid al-Adha (Islam; Feast of the Sacrifice): Begins the evening of Sunday, August 11, 2019, and concludes the evening of Thursday, August 15, 2019, though the first evening is the most important. For this reason, the College holds on its calendar only the evening of Sunday, August 11 through Monday, August 12.
  • Rosh Hashanah (Judaism; Celebration of the New Year): Begins the evening of Sunday, September 29, 2019 and concludes the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 1, though many Jews celebrate only the first day. The College holds on its calendar the evening of Sunday, September 29 through Tuesday, October 1.
  • Yom Kippur (Judaism; Day of Atonement): Begins the evening of Tuesday, October 8, 2019, and concludes the evening of Wednesday, October 9, 2019. The College holds this period on its calendar.
  • Christmas (Christian; Birth of Jesus): Begins the evening of Tuesday, December 24, 2019 and concludes Wednesday, December 25, 2019. The College holds these dates on its calendar.
  • Passover (Judaism; Remembrance of the Exodus): Begins the evening of Wednesday, April 8, 2020 and concludes the evening of Wednesday, April 15, though the first two days are typically most important. For this reason, the College holds on its calendar only the evening of Wednesday, April 8 through the evening of Friday, April 10.
  • Easter (Christian; Resurrection of Jesus): Sunday, April 12, 2020. The College holds this date on its calendar.
  • Eid al-Fitr (Islam; Celebration of the end of Ramadan): Begins the evening of Thursday, June 4, 2020, and concludes the evening of Friday, June 5, 2020. The College holds this date on its calendar.

Students and student organizations are not permitted to sponsor campus wide or mandatory events on the dates/ times noted above, with the exception of educational events where the meaning and significance of religious observances are shared with the broader campus community.

Approved by the Student Life Committee on February 13, 2018