Religious, Cultural, Ethnic, Meaning-Making, and Faith Based Observances
As a publicly funded institution of higher education, Virginia Tech does not officially recognize religious holidays and celebrations. However, as an institution we recognize the importance of such events in the lives of our community members. In the spirit of inclusive excellence and our Principles of Community, faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to be cognizant of major religious and cultural observances when planning courses and campus events and to be sensitive to potential conflicts.
When conflicts do occur, students should notify their instructors in accordance with university policy stated as follows:
Consistent with the university’s tradition of religious tolerance, faculty and staff are encouraged to be sensitive to students who wish to observe religious and ethnic holidays. It is the students’ responsibility to request and provide justification for a religious accommodation, preferably during the first two weeks of classes or as soon as the student becomes aware of the need for an accommodation. Faculty should inform students of their willingness to make accommodations for reasonable requests. Faculty members are not required to compromise the academic integrity of the course to accommodate religious practices. Thus, accommodations for religious practices will be determined by the faculty and will be consistent with their attendance policy. The Dean of Students office does not verify absences related to religious and ethnic holidays. For information on University policy please see University Policies for Student Life (UPSL) ,or the Faculty Handbook.
For a calendar of observances, please see The Interfaith Calendar at http://www.interfaith-calendar.org
This calendar has evolved since 1993 and serves as a credible and comprehensive source world-wide. Web sites of world religions and interfaith organizations are monitored and information is tested by comparison with many sites. Because of the variety of religious customs and practices it is not possible to be both comprehensive and totally accurate. The online Interfaith Calendar is reviewed by users from many religions and countries. Users of the calendar include university personnel, school district officials, teachers, students, military personnel, city and police administrative offices, religious leaders, business people, convention planners, travelers, and people who are either just curious or wish to increase their religious devotion and knowledge.
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