Queen's University

Keep faith dates in mind when planning ahead


With the growth in diversity of faith within the student body as well as faculty and staff at Queen's, it is important to consider faith dates when scheduling meetings, events and course requirements.

"The Ontario Human Rights Code and Queen's policies require us to accommodate faith requirements in the workplace and in the classroom," says Queen's Chaplain Brian Yealland. This can be accomplished proactively by not scheduling meetings, events or tests on important holy days, or when scheduling conflicts are unavoidable, by working in good faith with staff and students to provide appropriate accommodation on request.

Several faith dates take place over the next few weeks and should be kept in mind. The end of Ramadan, Eid-al-Fitr,  is approaching for the Muslim community and will be celebrated on Oct. 1 this year. Some calendars say Sept. 30, but the Islamic Council of Canada has determined that Oct. 1 is the day, says Mr. Yealland.

For the Jewish community, Rosh Hashanah begins the eve of Sept 29. Most observant Jews will be absent from work and school on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Also, Judaism's holiest day, Yom Kippur, begins the eve of Oct. 8 and most observant Jews will be absent from  work and the classroom on Oct. 9. 

Some steps to take when planning ahead:

Consult a multi-faith/cultural Calendar 
When preparing fall schedules, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to refer to the holy-day listings of holy days on the Office of the University Chaplain's website, www.queensu.ca/chaplain

Avoid scheduling meetings, classes and events on these days if possible, or be prepared to accommodate persons who need to be absent because of religious requirements. 

Contact the office
Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to consult with the Chaplain's office for guidance should they have questions about addressing requests for faith accommodation. While extensive, the multi-faith/cultural calendar listings are not exhaustive. Individuals and groups may celebrate holy days that do not appear on the calendar or may find it necessary to observe a particular festival on a different day than the one listed on the calendar (e.g. on the nearest weekend). Conversely, not all days listed in the calendar will require accommodation in the form of absence from the workplace or classroom.  

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Last updated at 2:22 pm EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
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