Athletics Guidelines

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 student 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 religions, 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.

Religious Calendar for 2021-2022

*Holiday begins the evening of the first date listed and ends the evening of the last date listed.

 Major Holy Days

  • We avoid scheduling campus-wide events such as Blue and Gold 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 recognized as a legitimate reason to miss 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.

Major Holy Days 2022-2023

Please avoid scheduling exams, field trips, or other activities that would be difficult for students
to make up, and accommodate students who miss class on these days. Faculty meetings and
important campus-wide events are also discouraged on these dates.

  • Jul. 10 – Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice; Islamic celebration at the end of the Hajj)
  • Sep. 25-27* – Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
  • Oct. 04 – 05* Yom Kippur: Jews fast from sundown Oct. 4 until sundown Oct. 5Nov. 01 – All Saints’ Day (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics) Required Mass, 12:15-1:00 pm
  • Nov. 01 – All Saints’ Day (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics) Required Mass, 12:15-1:00 pm
  • Nov. 01 – 02 – Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead, Latin American holiday that reunites the living and the dead)
  • Dec. 08 – Immaculate Conception (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics) Required Mass, 12:15-1:00 pm
  • Dec. 25 – Christmas (Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus)
  • Jan. 22 – Feb. 09 Chinese New Year (Celebrated throughout East Asia; Students may request some time off to celebrate and visit with family and friends)
  • Feb. 22 – Ash Wednesday (Christian first day of Lent) Campus service, 4:30-5:30 pm
  • Mar. 23 – Apr. 22 Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting; Muslim students may request taking exams early in the day; suggested accommodations based on dietary restrictions are below)
  • Apr. 05 – 06* – First two days of Passover (Jewish week-long observance of the Exodus from Egypt)
  • Apr. 07 – Good Friday (Christian observance of Jesus’ death and burial) Campus service, 12:15-1:00 pm
  • Apr. 09 – Easter (Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection)
  • Apr. 22 – Eid al-Fitr (Islamic celebration at the end of Ramadan) Religious Rituals Participation in these rituals may affect attendance at classes or other campus events.

Religious Rituals

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 morning worship at local churches
  • Catholic Mass, Sunday at 6:30 pm
  • Jewish Shabbat every Friday at 5:00 pm
  • Muslim prayers, Friday at 12:00 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.)

Dietary Accommodations

  • Jews do not eat pork and do not eat meat and dairy in the same meal. Muslims also refrain from pork, as well as alcohol, and some require meat that is halal.
  • 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.