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    Remember faith dates when planning this fall

    By Communications Staff

    With a diversity of faith practices among students, 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 Kate Johnson. “This can be accomplished proactively by not scheduling meetings, events or tests on important holy days. When scheduling conflicts are unavoidable, we can work with staff and students to provide appropriate accommodation on request.”

    Several faith dates take place over the next few months and should be kept in mind.

    For the Jewish community, the eve of Rosh Hashanah falls on September 4, and most observant Jews will be absent from work and the classroom after sundown on that day and then on September 5 and 6. The eve of Yom Kippur falls on September 13 and most observant Jews will be absent from work and the classroom after sundown on that day and then on September 14*. Some observant Jews (Reform and Orthodox) will request accommodation for the Eve of Sukkot (September 18), the first day (or first two days) of Sukkot (September 19 and 20) and the last day of Sukkot (September 25). Other Jewish faith dates for which accommodation may be required this fall are the Eve of Shmini Atzeret (sundown, September 25) and Shmini Atzeret (September 26), the Eve of Simhat Torah (sundown, September 26) and Simhat Torah (September 27).

    In addition, observant members of the Baha’i, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan, Muslim and Jainism communities may require religious accommodation for the following observances/holy days. Those flagged by an asterisk fall on the weekend and are not expected to cause many scheduling difficulties. Members of the Christian community will not need to be accommodated on December 25, as the university is closed on that day:

    • Baha’i faith: Birth of the Báb* (October 20) and Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (November 12)
    • Sikhism: Installation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji* (October 20), Bandi Chhor Divas* (November 3), Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji* (November 24) and Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji* (November 17)
    • Wicca: Samhain (October 31) and Yule* (December 21)
    • Hinduism: Diwali* (November 3)
    • Buddhism: Kathina (October 25 to November 21)
    • Islam: Īd al-Adha (October 15)
    • Jainism: Paryushana-parva (September 3 to 10), Samvatsari (September 10), Dashalakshani-parva (September 10 to 19), Ksamavani (September 19) Mahavira Nirvana* (November 3).

    Detailed information about faith dates requiring accommodation is available through the Queen’s Events Calendar and the MultiFaith Calendar. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to consult with the Chaplain's office for guidance if 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.