Guidelines for Accommodating Religious Observance
As part of its commitment to diversity, Allegheny College encourages the expression of diverse religious traditions, which creates challenges, since our common calendar developed around Christianity. Islamic, Jewish, Hindu and other holidays follow different calendars, so they do not fall on the same day each year, or even the same day of the week, like Easter Sunday or Ash Wednesday do, but may be on Thursday one year and Saturday the next.
The athletic program presents some special challenges, since we have little or no control over scheduling competitions, and athletes are managing athletic requirements along with academics.
We believe these complexities are worth confronting in order to create the inclusive, respectful, and safe residential learning community that our Statement of Community advocates. Allegheny is committed to supporting individuals of all faiths, and we invite you to assist in accommodating students’ religious practice that might conflict with athletic programs.
This guide should help you work around religious holidays in a way that is respectful and sensitive, while not diminishing athletic commitments. Conflicts might also occur for athletes whose religion requires head covering or other apparel. If you have questions, please contact any of the following for guidance.
Christian Holidays, General or Interfaith Questions
Chaplain Jane Ellen Nickell, email@example.com
Spiritual and Religious Life Office (814-332-2800)
Adrienne Krone, Director of Jewish Life, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Younus Mirza, email@example.com
Chaplain Jane Ellen Nickell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian and Catholic Holidays
Fr. Jeff Lucas, email@example.com
Religious Calendar for 2016-2017
Please note: Jewish holidays begin on sundown of the first day listed.
Islamic holidays may vary a day or two; dates will be finalized shortly before the holidays occur.
Major Holy Days
- We avoid scheduling campus-wide events such as Homecoming, Family Weekend, Make a Difference Day, Wingfest, Springfest, or other events that students would have to miss if they were observing a religious holiday, and religious observance is an excused absence from class.
- Please excuse students from competitions if they are observing one of these holidays, and assure them that there will be no adverse consequences for their participation in future competitions.
|Jun. 6-Jul. 7||Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting; most Muslims will continue daily activity,
but suggested accommodations based on dietary restrictions are below)
|Jul. 7-9||Eid al-Fitr (Islamic three-day celebration at the end of Ramadan)|
|Sept. 11-14||Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice; Islamic three-day celebration at the end of the hajj)|
|Oct. 2-4||Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)|
|Oct. 11-12||Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement)|
|Dec. 25||Christmas (Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus)|
|Apr. 10-11||First two days of Passover (Jewish week-long observance of the Exodus from Egypt begins)|
|Apr. 16||Easter (Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection)|
There will be on-campus services at these times, so we ask flexibility, such as arranging alternative training for athletes who would like to attend, including regular weekly services:
- Sunday Chapel Service at 11:00 am or other local church service
- Catholic Mass, Sunday at 6:30 pm
- Jewish Shabbat every Friday at 5:00 pm
- Muslim prayers, Friday at 1:00 pm (Note that Muslim students who pray five times
each day may need to be excused for a few minutes to pray at other times.)
|Nov. 1||All Saints Day (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)||Required Mass, 12:15-1:00|
|Dec. 8||Immaculate Conception (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)||Required Mass, 12:15-1:00 pm|
|Mar. 1||Ash Wednesday (Christian first day of Lent)||Campus service, 4:30-5:30 pm|
|Week of Apr. 10||Passover Seder (may be scheduled after first two days)||Campus dinner, 5-7:30 pm|
|Apr. 13||Maundy Thursday (Christian observance of Jesus’ last supper)||Campus service that evening, time TBA|
|Apr. 14||Good Friday (Christian observance of Jesus’ death and burial)||Campus service, 12:15-1:00 pm|
- The following holy days involve dietary restrictions that have ramifications for athletes. Fasts for Ramadan, Yom Kippur, and the Baha’i Month of Fasting extend to drinking any type of beverage, including water, so dehydration is a danger, particularly during long and/or hot practice sessions. Accommodations might be to allow players to practice after sundown, when they are able to eat and drink.
- If meals or snacks are provided for athletes, Passover and Lenten restrictions should be handled as any other dietary needs are. Please contact us if you need guidance on Kosher for Passover options.
|Jun. 6-Jul. 7||Ramadan: Muslims fast daily from food and drink from before sunrise until after sunset|
|Oct. 11-12||Yom Kippur: Jews fast from sundown Oct. 11, until sundown Oct. 12|
|Mar. 1-Apr. 16||Lent: Christians may fast from meat on Fridays or engage in other forms of fasting|
|Mar. 2-20||Month of Fasting: Baha’is do not eat or drink between sunup and sundown|
|Apr. 10-17||Passover: Jews eat no leavened bread and may observe other dietary restrictions|
Additional Holy Days
- Members of our community may be celebrating these holidays. Specific campus services and customs are noted.
- In addition to minor holidays in religions that are well-represented on campus, we have also included major ritual days in under-represented religions. Please note that these holidays are as important for those involved as Yom Kippur is for Jews or Easter is for Christians. Those students should be accommodated as indicated above.
- Students who are observing a minor holiday may ask to rearrange their schedule or perform an alternate training in order to attend a religious service or observance.
- Work is suspended on the Baha’i holidays listed below.
- Society of Buddhist and Hindu Students (SBHS) and/or other groups may host events on or around the Hindu holy days.
- Allegheny Community for Earth-Based Spirituality (ACES) may hold rituals on or around Pagan festivals.
|Jun. 11-13||Shavuot (Jewish commemoration of God’s gift of Torah at Sinai)|
|Jun. 20||Midsummer, or Litha (Pagan holiday around the summer solstice, the longest day)|
|Jul. 1||Laylat al-Qadr (Islamic night of prayer during Ramadam; date varies with different legal opinions)|
|Jul. 9||Martyrdom of the Bab (Death of the herald of the Baha’i faith)*|
|Aug. 2||Lughnassad, or Lammas (Pagan celebration of the beginning of harvest)|
|Aug. 25||Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu festival celebrating birth of Krishna)|
|Sep. 22||Harvest, or Mabon (Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for fruits of the earth)|
|Oct. 1-10||Navaratri (Hindu festival honoring the goddess Durga)|
|Oct. 8||Saraswati Puja (Hindu celebration of goddess of learning, arts and crafts)|
|Oct. 11||Dussehra, or Dasara (Hindu celebration of victories by several gods and goddesses)|
|Oct. 12||Ashura (Shi‘ite holy day commemorating the martyrdom of Husayn b. ‘Ali)|
|Oct. 16-23||Sukkot (Jewish week-long Festival of Booths)
Hillel builds and decorates outdoor booth, or sukkah
|Oct. 20||Birth of the Bab (Herald of Baha’i faith)*|
|Oct. 30||Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)|
|Nov. 1||Samhain (Pagan festival honoring those who have died)|
|Nov. 27-Dec. 24||Advent (Christian time of preparation for the birth of Jesus; begins four Sundays prior to Christmas)
Candlelight Christmas Service in Ford Chapel, Dec 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm
|Dec. 14||Mawlid al-Nabi (Observance of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday)|
|Dec. 21||Yule, or Winter Solstice (Pagan observance of the winter solstice)|
|Dec. 24-Jan. 1||Hanukkah (Jewish eight-day Festival of Lights)
Hillel lights menorah near Chapel and holds Hanukkah party, date TBA
|Feb. 2||Imbolc, or St. Brighid’s Day (Pagan celebration of the beginning of spring)|
|Feb. 10-11||Tu B’Shvat (Jewish Arbor Day)
Hillel and/or Interfaith Fellowship may hold Tu B’Shvat Seder
|Feb. 25||Maha Shivratri (Hindu festival of the god Shiva)|
|Feb. 28||Shrove Tuesday (Day before season of Lent begins, a.k.a. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday)
Pancake Supper, 5:30 pm, in Campus Center Lobby
|Mar. 2-20||Naw-Ruz (Baha’i Month of Fasting)*|
|Mar. 11-12||Purim (Jewish Feast of Lots)
Hillel may hold Purim party or carnival
|Mar. 13||Holi (Hindu Festival of Colors)|
|Mar. 20||Ostara (Pagan festival at the vernal equinox)|
|Apr. 9||Palm Sunday (Christian observance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem)
Observed in Sunday Chapel Service at 11:00 am and at Catholic Mass Sunday at 6:30 pm,
both in Ford Chapel
|Apr. 21-May 2||Festival of Ridvan (Baha’i commemoration of Baha’u’llah’s proclamation)**|
|Apr. 22-23||Yom Hashoah (Jewish day of Holocaust remembrance)
Hillel may hold observance or travel to service at Jewish Community Center in Erie
|May 1||Beltane (Pagan celebration related to May Day, fertility)|
|May 29||Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Anniversary of Baha’i founder’s death)*|
|May 30-Jun.1||Shavuot (Jewish commemoration of God’s gift of Torah at Sinai)|
*Baha’i observances on which work is suspended.
**Work suspended on Apr. 21, Apr. 29, and May 2