Edit Page

Undergraduate Catalog

Policies: Religious Beliefs & Class Attendance

Academic Policies and Procedures » Religious Beliefs & Class Attendance

Throughout the academic year, many students and faculty will need to miss class or reschedule assignments, exams, practices, or other school commitments in order to observe religious holidays that fall on class or work days.1

Students who will be taking time to observe these holidays should communicate with faculty, coaches, etc. as soon as possible regarding absences for religious observations and be prepared to discuss plans for making up missed work. Faculty will continue to respect the needs of our students and, in compliance with the New York State Education Law (Chapter 161, Section 224-a)2, honor students’ requests for such rescheduling and collaborate with them to determine a path to make up missed work.

Faculty who plan to observe religious holidays on scheduled work days should communicate with their department chair and arrange for make-up sessions or alternative content delivery in order to preserve instructional time. (See , Section 3: Instruction.)

This applies to all religious observances, specified or not specified on the academic calendar.

 

1Staff absences for religious observance will also be accommodated. Professional and Classified staff are required to charge accruals for these absences. (Sick days cannot be used for this purpose.)

2Section 224-a, "Students unable because of religious beliefs to register or attend classes on certain days," states the following:

1. No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student to an institution of higher education for the reasons that he or she is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to register or attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirements on a particular day or days.

2. Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.

3. It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.

4. If registration, classes, examinations, study or work requirements are held on Friday after four o' clock post meridian or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study or work requirements or opportunity to register shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, study or work requirements or registration held on other days.

5. In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his or her availing himself or herself of the provisions of this section.

6. Any student who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative officials to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section, shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which such institution of higher education is located for the enforcement of his or her rights under this section.

6a. It shall be the responsibility of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to give written notice to students of their rights under this section, informing them that each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, must be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to such student such equivalent opportunity.

7. As used in this section, the term "institution of higher education" shall mean any institution of higher education, recognized and approved by the regents of the university of the state of New York, which provides a course of study leading to the granting of a post-secondary degree or diploma. Such term shall not include any institution which is operated, supervised or controlled by a church or by a religious or denominational organization whose educational programs are principally designed for the purpose of training ministers or other religious functionaries or for the purpose of propagating religious doctrines. As used in this section, the term "religious belief" shall mean beliefs associated with any corporation organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes, which is not disqualified for tax exemption under section 501 of the United States Code.