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:

Calendar of religious holidays

Current year: These dates are for the 2021–22 Academic Year.

Holidays in 2021

Holiday Dates Faith
Eid al–Adha July 20–23* Islam (dates dependent on the sighting of the new moon crescent)
Krishna Janmashtami August 3 Hinduism
First of Muharram August 10 Islam
Ashura August 18* Islam
Ganesh Chaturthi September 10 Hinduism
Rosh Hashanah (New Year) September 7–8* Judaism
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) September 16* Judaism
Sukkot September 21–27* Judaism
Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah September 28* Judaism
Navratri October 17–14 Hinduism
Day of the Dead October 31 Mexico/Catholicism
All Saints Day November 1 Christianity
Diwali November 4 Hinduism
Advent November 28–December 24 Christianity
Hanukkah November 29–December 6* Judaism
Feast of the Immaculate Conception December 8 Christianity
Rohatsu (Japan) December 8 Buddhism
Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12 Christianity
Christmas December 25 Christianity
Kwanzaa December 26–January 1 African–American
Feast of the Holy Family December 26 Christianity

Holidays in 2022

Holiday Dates Faith
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary January 1 Christianity
Christmas January 7 Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Asian Lunar New Year February 1 Confucianism/Taoism/Buddhism
Maha Shivaratri March 1 Hinduism
Ash Wednesday March 2 Christianity
Orthodox Great Lent begins March 7 Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Purim March 17* Judaism
Ramadan begins (30 days) April 3* Islam (dates dependent on the sighting of the new moon crescent)
Vesak April 8 Buddhism
Palm Sunday April 10 Christianity
Passover April 16–22* Judaism
Holi March 18 Hinduism
Maundy Thursday April 14 Christianity
Good Friday April 15 Christianity
Easter April 17 Christianity
Pascha April 24 Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Eid al Fitr May 2–3* Islam (dates dependent on the sighting of the new moon crescent)
Pentecost June 2 Christianity
Shavuot June 5–6* Judaism
Ashura August 8 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.