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Honoring Religious Observances

Hello Emersonians! 

As a vibrant month of multi-faith celebrations approaches, we wanted to share information about supporting the religious observances of our community and to remind you of our Religious Observance policy. 

Our policy requires our staff and faculty to accommodate students who are absent due to religious observance and to provide them with a reasonable opportunity to make up examinations, study, or work requirements missed due to their religious observance, provided such accommodation does not create an unreasonable burden. Click here for a full text of our policy.

To anticipate the religious and spiritual needs of our community, we first encourage everyone to consult a multi-faith calendar (such as this comprehensive multi-faith calendar) to see when planned events, assignments, or coursework might conflict with religious observances. While it will likely be impossible to avoid scheduling on holidays altogether, please take special note of work-restricted holidays (marked on the calendar in bold with the words “no work”). These are days when those observing a holiday are required to restrict or limit their work or labor as a core tenet of their practice and will need alternate accommodations. When possible, please do not schedule mandatory meetings or events on these days (or provide alternate options). 

Faculty, staff and students each have unique considerations of how to navigate possible conflicts between religious practices and college commitments. For more in-depth guidance on navigating religious accommodations, please see the following guides (compiled by Dr. Tuesda Roberts, Director of Faculty Development and Diversity and Julie Avis Rogers, Director of Spiritual and Religious Life):

The next set of work-restricted holidays on the calendar will be the Jewish High Holidays! Rosh Hashanah begins on the evening of Sept 25 and continues on Sept 26 and 27.  Please visit Emerson Hillel and the Center for Spiritual Life on EmConnect to learn more about High Holiday services as well as other multi-faith celebrations and gatherings throughout the semester!

Gratefully, 

The Center for Spiritual Life Staff: 

  • Julie Avis Rogers, Director of Spiritual & Religious Life/ Campus Chaplain
  • Amber Hai,  Muslim Chaplain
  • Brian Indrelie, Christian Chaplain
  • Rachel Sturges, Jewish Chaplain
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