Diversity and inclusion are core values of American University. Each year, AU affirms its commitment to religious diversity by reminding both faculty and students of their rights and responsibilities regarding religious observances. In the spirit of celebrating our different beliefs, I ask that you support students who observe religious holidays and traditions.
According to university policy, students may receive excused absences from class or exam attendance for observance of religious holidays. Students should not be penalized for excused absences and are required to make-up all work missed as a result of the excused absence. Students must also inform their professors of their religious obligations in a timely manner.
The calendar attached to this memorandum lists the major religious holy days for the 2014 – 2015 academic year. Included on the calendar are notes that explain the religious commitments associated with some of the holy days. Please share this list with your colleagues and refer to it when preparing your syllabi. The holy days listed in bold are those that most likely will have a number of students requesting accommodation. Especially on those holy days, please try to avoid scheduling exams or other important events. If you must schedule important class events on these days, please provide proper notification in your syllabi and give students reasonable opportunities to make-up the missed work. Students have been instructed to notify faculty in advance if they are intending to miss class for a religious commitment.
Your cooperation and assistance is part of the tradition that makes American University such a welcoming and special place. Should you have questions, please contact the dean of your school or college.