Religious Holidays & Related Absences
The following policies are in place in an effort to create an affirming environment for persons of faith traditions at Southwestern. If you have any questions about these policies, please contact our University Chaplain, Megan Danner.
The University recognizes the following traditional religious holidays in respect of the diverse faith traditions of our campus community and in an effort to allow as many people as possible to attend commonly observed religious holidays. One-time University events should not be scheduled during the following holidays; these are events which either (1) require attendance, (2) may not be mandatory, but those not attending would miss an important opportunity to be included in a campus event, and/or (3) are one-time opportunities for participants to receive the services offered. Please note that these are the North American dates and the Islamic holidays are tentative and subject to change, based on the best visibility estimates of the lunar crescent.
- Eid al-Fitr, June 25, 2017 (begins at sundown on June 24)
- Eid al-Adha, September 1, 2017 (begins at sundown on August 31)
- Rosh Hashanah, September 21-22, 2017 (begins at sundown on September 20)
- Yom Kippur, September 30, 2017 (begins at sundown on September 29)
- Christmas Day, December 25, 2017
- Good Friday, March 30, 2018
- Pesach (Passover), March 31-April 1, 2018 (first two days, begins at sundown on March 30)
- Easter, April 1, 2018
Because the religious holidays listed above reflect some, but not all, of the most commonly observed holidays, the University policies also permit any student to miss class in order to observe any religious or cultural holidays that are part of their tradition, including holidays that are not listed above. Students are expected to notify their professor of religious absences as far in advance as possible and fulfill missed assignments prior to the absence.
Additionally, University policies permit faculty and staff, including student employees, to miss work in order to observe religious and cultural holidays that are part of their tradition, including holidays that are not listed above. This time off may be without pay or taken as accrued vacation time, and in the case of student employees, it can include a change in work hours within a pay period to accommodate the absence. The University policy notes that faculty members are still expected to meet their class schedules and should work with their Department chair or the Dean of the Faculty to arrange these absences.
The following dates and times have been identified for Chapel services during the 2017-2018 academic year. These are priority events which no student, faculty, or staff member may be denied the opportunity to attend because of a conflicting class, meeting, or event.
- Thursday Chapel services, 11:25am-12:15pm
- Orientation worship service, Sunday, August 20, 2017, 11:00am-12:00pm
- Homecoming worship service, Sunday, November 5, 2017, 10:30am-11:30am
- Candlelight worship services, Thursday, December 7, 2017, 6:00pm & 8:00pm
- Ash Wednesday worship service, Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 12:30pm-1:00pm
- Baccalaureate worship service, Friday, May 11, 2018, 7:00pm-8:00pm