MemorandumAugust 18, 2021
- AU Community
- Peter Starr, Acting Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Monica C. Jackson, Deputy Provost and Dean of Faculty
Beth Muha, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
Rev. Bryant M. Oskvig, Interim University Chaplain
- AY2021-2022 Major Religious Holy Days
Our community includes persons from many different religious and cultural backgrounds. We make American University a place of belonging for all, in part, by allowing for the observance of the holidays and significant days of the traditions represented here. For some, fasting and/or cessation of regular activities are components of these religious and cultural holidays, which impact a community member’s ability to attend class, participate in events, and complete assignments on certain dates. As you plan for Fall 2021, please take these observances into consideration.
You can find a list of the religious and cultural holidays that AU community members are more likely to observe and for which they may require accommodation at: https://www.american.edu/ocl/kay/major-religious-holy-days.cfm.
Please note that several of our religious and cultural communities observe holidays at the beginning of the academic year. Given the timing of these observances, students, faculty, and staff may have limited time to inform others of their need for an accommodation. In particular, two Jewish holidays that begin at sundown and require the complete cessation of work occur at the start of the Fall semester. These include Rosh Hashana (the evening of September 6–8) and Yom Kippur (the evening of September 15–16).
More information about accommodations for religious and/or cultural holidays for students can be found at https://www.american.edu/ocl/kay/request-for-religious-accommodation.cfm. Procedures for religious accommodation for faculty and staff are outlined at https://www.american.edu/policies/au-community/upload/discrimination-and-non-title-ix-sexual-misconduct-policy-procedures-for-requesting-religious-accommodation-06102021.pdf.
Students who have questions about religious accommodations or observances may contact the Office of the University Chaplain at email@example.com. Faculty and staff should be in touch with HR employee relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we begin to come back together as a community, our commitment to making American University a place of belonging for all persons is as important as ever. Thank you for your thoughtful care and attention to the religious and spiritual needs of our wider community.
Fall 2021 Observances
|September 7 & 8||Rosh Hashana||Judaism|
|September 10||Ganesh Chaturthi||Hinduism|
|September 16||Yom Kippur||Judaism|
|September 21 & 22||First and Second Days of Sukkot||Judaism|
|September 28||Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah||Judaism|
|October 6||Navaratri Begins||Hinduism|
|October 14||Vijaya Dashami||Hinduism|
|November 4||Diwali||Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism|
|November 6||Birth of Bab||Baháʼí|
|November 7||Birth of Baha’u’llah||Baháʼí|
*For Jewish and Islamic holidays, one should consider the observance beginning at sundown on the day before the holiday. Jewish holy days end one hour after sunset of the concluding day. Islamic and Hindu holy days may also vary depending on the sighting of the moon.