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Guidelines for the Respect of Religious Diversity

Keene State College seeks to support and foster an atmosphere in which all its constituents may know that they are safe, welcome, and respected. To this end, the College is committed to providing diversity in our curriculum and in our community. The programs of KSC are thereby governed by principles of equal opportunity, access to resources, just treatment of all, and respect for one another. We also support opportunities for all members of the community to engage in practices that lead to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.

In order to demonstrate our commitment to providing an environment that respects and acknowledges the whole individual (beyond the academic and social wellbeing), students, faculty and staff are permitted by Keene State College policy to be absent from class and work to observe religious holidays.

Students are required to notify professors of their absence in observance of a religious holiday at the beginning of the semester. Since religious holidays are scheduled in advance, students will be responsible for any work missed or assignments due on the holiday. If the holiday falls on a date an assignment is due or examination is scheduled, students will be required to complete the course expectation prior to the holiday or according to agreed upon process by the professor. Students may reschedule, without penalty, examinations that conflict with the observance of their religious tradition.

Faculty and Staff are required to contact their supervisors and make reasonable arrangements to cover their responsibilities to students and other tasks at the college. As with students, faculty and staff will be required to make this notification at the beginning of the semester or at a time designated by the supervisor. Employees could trade the holiday of for a campus “floating” holiday or take personal vacation time.

Religious Holidays

Even though classes will not be cancelled, individuals responsible for planning major Keene State College events will make every attempt not to hold events on dates associated with significant religious holidays. Where conflicts are unavoidable, it is college policy to excuse the absence of students and employees that result from their attendance at religious observances or to these religious obligations.

To aid in planning efforts, the Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity will provide a list of major religious holidays for a variety of world religions that occur when classes are being held during the academic year. This list will be sent to members of the campus community in late March or early April of each year. The list will be developed in consultation with the campus ministry and other individuals at the College who have knowledge of major religious holidays. The Administration of the College realizes there are a variety of religious traditions observed by our diverse community and this list does not reflect all religious holidays.

Calendar for Academic Year 2020-21

Baha’i

  • Birth of Bab (Sunday, October 18, 2020)
  • Birth of Baha’u’llah (Monday, October 19, 2020)
  • Ayyam-i-Ha (Thursday, February 25 – Sunday, February 28, 2021)
  • Naw Ruz (New Year) (Saturday, March 20, 2021)
  • First Day of Ridvan (Tuesday, April 20, 2021)
  • Declaration of the Bab (Sunday, May 23, 2021)
  • Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Saturday, May 29, 2021)

Buddhist*

  • Parinirvana Day/Nirvana Day (Monday, February 15, 2021)
  • Buddha’s Birthday (Thursday, April 8, 2021)

Christian

  • All Saints Day (Friday, November 1, 2020)
  • Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic) (Tuesday, December 8, 2020)
  • Christmas** (Friday, December 25, 2020)
  • Ash Wednesday (Wednesday, February 17, 2021)
  • Maundy Thursday (Thursday, April 1, 2021)
  • Good Friday (Friday, April 2, 2021)
  • Easter (Sunday, April 4, 2021)
  • Orthodox (Eastern) Easter (Sunday, May 2, 2021)

Hindu*

  • Diwali (Saturday, November 14, 2020)
  • Holi (Monday, March 29, 2021)

Islamic Holidays*

  • Eid el Adha ( or Eid al Kabir) (Sundown Thursday, July 30 – Sundown, Friday, July 31, 2020)
  • Hajj (Muslim Pilgrimage) days (Sundown Tuesday, July 28 – Sundown, Sunday, August 2, 2020)
  • Ramadan (Sundown Monday, April 12 – Sundown Tuesday, May 11, 2021)
  • Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) (Sundown Wednesday, May 12 – Sundown Thursday, May 13, 2021)

Jewish Holidays***

  • Rosh Hashanah (Sundown Friday, September 18 – Sundown Sunday, September 20, 2020)
  • Yom Kippur (Sundown Sunday, September 27 – Sundown Monday, September 28, 2020)
  • Sukkot (Sundown Friday, October 2 – Sundown Friday, October 9, 2020)
  • Hanukkah (Thursday, December 10 to Friday, December 19, 2020)
  • Passover (Sundown Saturday, March 27 – Sundown Sunday, April 4, 2021)
  • Shavuot (Sundown Sunday May 16 – Sundown Tuesday, May 18, 2021)

Wiccan/Pagan

  • Autumn Equinox (Tuesday, September 22, 2020)
  • Samhain (Evening Saturday, October 31 – Evening Sunday, November 1, 2020)
  • Winter Solstice (Monday, December 21, 2020)
  • Imbolic (Tuesday, February 2, 2021)
  • Spring Equinox (Saturday, March 20, 2021)
  • Beltane (Saturday, May 1, 2021)
  • Summer Solstice (Monday, June 21, 2021)
  • Lughnasadh (Sunday, August 1, 2021)

* All Islamic and certain Hindu and Buddhist holidays are calculated on a lunar calendar and are approximate.
** Christmas occurs during campus shutdown
*** Traditional Jewish people also observe a work-free Sabbath, beginning every Friday night shortly before sunset, and lasting for 25 hours. Also, note: In addition to some Jewish people having a Sabbath on Friday evening to Saturday evening, Seventh Day Adventists do this as well.

Contact Diversity & Multiculturalism

Dottie Morris
Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
dmorris@keene.edu
☎ 603-358-2206
Hale Building 103A
Mailstop: M/S 1501