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:

Religious Holidays

2020-2021 Academic Year

2020

  • Eid al-Adha
    July 31-August 3*
    Islam [dates dependent on the sighting of the new moon crescent]
  • Krishna Janmashtami
    August 12
    Hinduism
  • First of Muharram
    August 21
    Islam
  • Ganesh Chaturthi
    August 22
    Hinduism
  • Ashura
    August 29*
    Islam
  • Rosh Hashanah (New Year)
    September 19-20*
    Judaism
  • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
    September 28*
    Judaism
  • Sukkot
    October 3-9*
    Judaism
  • Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah
    October 10-11*
    Judaism
  • Navratri
    October 17-24
    Hinduism
  • Day of the Dead
    October 31
    Mexico/Catholicism
  • All Saints Day
    November 1
    Christianity
  • Diwali
    November 14
    Hinduism
  • Advent
    November 29-December 24
    Christianity
  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception
    December 8
    Christianity
  • Rohatsu (Japan)
    December 8
    Buddhism
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe
    December 12
    Christianity
  • Hanukkah
    December 23-30*
    Judaism
  • Christmas
    December 25
    Christianity
  • Kwanzaa
    December 26-January 1, 2020
    African-American
  • Feast of the Holy Family
    December 27
    Christianity

2021:

  • Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    January 1
    Christianity
  • Christmas
    January 7
    Eastern Orthodox Christianity
  • Asian Lunar New Year
    February 12
    Confucianism/Taoism/Buddhism
  • Ash Wednesday
    February 17
    Christianity
  • Purim
    February 26*
    Judaism
  • Maha Shivaratri
    March 12
    Hinduism
  • Orthodox Great Lent begins
    March 15
    Eastern Orthodox Christianity
  • Palm Sunday
    March 28
    Christianity
  • Passover
    March 28-April 8*
    Judaism
  • Holi
    March 29
    Hinduism
  • Maundy Thursday
    April 1
    Christianity
  • Good Friday
    April 2
    Christianity
  • Vesak
    April 3
    Buddhism
  • Easter
    April 4
    Christianity
  • Ramadan begins (30 days)
    April 13*
    Islam [dates dependent on the sighting of the new moon crescent]
  • Pascha
    May 2
    Eastern Orthodox Christianity
  • Eid al Fitr
    May 14-16*
    Islam [dates dependent on the sighting of the new moon crescent]
  • Pentecost
    May 23
    Christianity
  • Shavuot
    August 17-18*
    Judaism
  • Ashura
    August 18
    Islam

*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.