Religious observances trump classes


In an email sent out to the student body Monday, Director for the Center of Spiritual Life Rev. Katherine Smanik reminded students that they may be excused from classes for religious observences.

As the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur approach, Smanik said she hoped to alert students of their right to practice their

religious observances, even if they occur during class.

"I've heard of students choosing not to miss class for their observances, and I thought it would be good to have a reminder," Smanik said. "This is not a trouble, this is something you have a right to do."

The university's policy regarding religious observations states that: "Faculty members are expected to accommodate students who are adherents of a religious tradition and wish to fulfill obligations of that religious tradition on holy days. Students are expected to notify their instructors of their intent to fulfill the obligations of their religious tradition well in advance of these days. For the sake of this policy, "holy days" are defined as periods of time in which either: a) activities required by normal class participation are prohibited by a religious tradition, or b) a special worship obligation is required by a religious tradition."