Queen's University

Faith dates now entered automatically into online calendar


Faith dates for which community members often require accommodation now appear in the Queen’s online scheduler.

Oracle users can see a selection of Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy days in their calendar to assist them when scheduling meetings and events.

“This initiative is one small part of the university’s commitment to recognizing faith diversity at Queen’s and ensuring that faculty, staff and students receive appropriate accommodations should scheduling conflicts be unavoidable,” says Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Bob Silverman.

In response to requests for accessible and timely information about high holy days, the university consulted with the Chaplain’s Office and other community partners to determine which key dates to enter in the Oracle calendar. The dates selected are those that departments are most often asked to accommodate for faith-based needs, particularly absences from certain activities or from work, according to University Chaplain Brian Yealland.

Due to space limitations, Oracle does not contain comprehensive entries of all faith dates that may require accommodation.

“There are many dates for which people of other faiths—such as Baha’i, Aboriginal spiritualities, Zoroastrianism, etc.—may also require accommodation,” says Stephanie Simpson, associate director of the Human Rights Office. “We need to be flexible in our approaches to scheduling and not limited to shortlists."

Users can consult the comprehensive multi-faith calendar, which provides information about the significance of various faith dates and flags those for which absence from work and school is required. Queen’s is the first Canadian university to purchase and make available the interactive calendar published by the Multi-faith Action Society of Canada.

Faith-date listings can also be found on the Queen’s events calendar.

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Last updated at 1:55 pm EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
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