Queen's University

Remember faith dates when planning this fall

 
2012-09-25

With the growth in diversity of faith practices among students, faculty and staff at Queen’s, it is important to consider faith dates when scheduling meetings, events and course requirements.

“The Ontario Human Rights Code and Queen’s policies require us to accommodate faith requirements in the workplace and in the classroom,” says Queen’s Chaplain Brian Yealland.

Accommodating faith requirements can be accomplished proactively by not scheduling meetings, events or tests on important holy days, or, when scheduling conflicts are unavoidable, by working with staff and students to provide appropriate accommodation on request.

Several faith dates take place over the next few months and should be kept in mind.

For the Jewish community, Yom Kippur begins the eve of September 25 and most observant Jews will be absent from work and the classroom on September 26. Some observant Jews (Reform and Orthodox) will request accommodation for the Eve of Sukkot (September 30) and the first day (or first two days) of Sukkot (October 1 and 2). Other Jewish faith dates requiring accommodation this fall are the Eve of Shmini Atzeret (sundown, October 7) and Shmini Atzeret (October 8), the Eve of Simhat Torah (sundown, October 8) and Simhat Torah (October 9).

In addition, observant members of the Baha’i, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan and Muslim communities may require religious accommodation for the following observances/holy days. Those flagged by an asterisk fall on the weekend and are not expected to cause many scheduling difficulties. Members of the Christian community will not need to be accommodated on December 25, as the university is closed on that day.

• Baha’i faith: Birth of the Báb* (October 20) and Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (November 12)
• Sikhism: Installation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji* (October 20), Bandi Chhor Divas (November 13), Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji* (November 24) and Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji (November 28)
• Wicca: Samhain(October 31) and Yule (December 21)
• Hinduism: Diwali (November 13)
• Buddhism: Kathina (October 1-28)
• Islam: Īd al-Aḍḥá (October 26)

Faith dates are available on this online Multifaith Calendar. Users may click on each particular faith date within the Multifaith Calendar for more information about the observance.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to consult with the Chaplain's office for guidance if they have questions about addressing requests for faith accommodation. While extensive, the multi-faith/cultural calendar listings are not exhaustive. Individuals and groups may celebrate holy days that do not appear on the calendar or may find it necessary to observe a particular festival on a different day than the one listed on the calendar (e.g. on the nearest weekend). Conversely, not all days listed in the calendar will require accommodation in the form of absence from the workplace or classroom.

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