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 Michael Bright, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life and College Chaplain at (717) 337-6280 or mbright@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:

Calendar of religious holidays

Current year: These dates are for the 2022–23 Academic Year.

Holidays in 2022

Holiday Dates Faith
Eid al–Adha July 9–10* Islam (dates dependent on the sighting of the new moon crescent)
First of MuharramJuly 30Islam
Ashura August 8* Islam
Krishna Janmashtami August 19 Hinduism
Ganesh Chaturthi August 31 Hinduism
Rosh Hashanah (New Year) September 26–27* Judaism
Navratri September 26–October 4 Hinduism
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) October 5* Judaism
Sukkot October 10-16* Judaism
Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah October 17-18* Judaism
Diwali October 24 Hinduism
Day of the Dead October 31 Mexico/Catholicism
All Saints Day November 1 Christianity
Advent November 27–December 24 Christianity
Feast of the Immaculate Conception December 8 Christianity
Bodhi Day/Rohatsu (Japan) December 8 Buddhism
Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12 Christianity
Hanukkah December 19-26* Judaism
Christmas December 25 Christianity
Kwanzaa December 26–January 1 African–American
Feast of the Holy Family December 30 Christianity

Holidays in 2023

Holiday Dates Faith
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary January 1 Christianity
Christmas January 7 Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Lunar New Year January 22 Confucianism/Taoism/Buddhism
Maha Shivaratri February 18 Hinduism
Ash Wednesday February 22 Christianity
Orthodox Great Lent begins February 27 Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Purim March 7* Judaism
Holi March 8 Hinduism
Ramadan begins (30 days) March 23* Islam (dates dependent on the sighting of the new moon crescent)
Palm Sunday April 2 Christianity
Passover April 6–13* Judaism
Maundy Thursday April 6 Christianity
Good Friday April 7 Christianity
Vesak April 8 Buddhism
Easter April 9 Christianity
Pascha April 16 Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Eid al Fitr April 21-22* Islam (dates dependent on the sighting of the new moon crescent)
Pentecost May 28 Christianity
Shavuot May 26-27* Judaism
Eid al-Adha June 28-29* Islam (dates dependent on the sighting of the new moon crescent)

*Some holy days start at sundown of the evening before the listed start date and end at sundown or nightfall of the concluding date listed.

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.