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University Equity and Inclusion
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Respect Faith Practices

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Members of Rutgers University’s diverse community may recognize various religious holy days and culturally significant holidays. Read the frequently asked questions below to learn more about the university policy on religious observance and its impact on students and employees.

  • It is University policy (University Regulation on Attendance, Book 2, 2.47B, formerly 60.14f) to excuse without penalty students who are absent because of religious observances; or participation in University-sponsored intercollegiate athletics contests, practices, associated travel, and other similar obligations; and to allow the make up of exercises or examinations missed because of such absence. Except when related to clinical assignments, examinations and special required out-of-class activities shall ordinarily not be scheduled on those days when religiously observant students refrain from participating in secular activities. Absences for reasons of religious obligation shall not be counted for purposes of reporting. To learn more, read the university policy on course attendance.

    Rutgers University recognizes and respects the religious diversity of its employees. The university prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s religion or creed and will provide reasonable accommodations for employees to enable them to exercise their sincerely held religious beliefs.  To learn more about accommodations for staff employees, visit the Office of Employment Equity religious accommodations page. To learn more about accommodations for faculty, visit the Office of Academic Labor Relations religious accommodations page.

  • It is the policy of the University not to cancel classes on religious holidays. However, students should exercise their own judgment as to attendance in accordance with the dictates of specific school or program policies and requirements governing class attendance. To learn more, read the university policy on course attendance.

  • For some traditions, the interruption of regular activities and/or work is a component of the observance; this may impact participation and completion of assignments. Many religious traditions also observe specific times of fasting, which may impact focus and energy levels.

  • For Jewish and Islamic holidays, the observance may begin at sundown on the day before the holiday. Jewish holy days will end one hour after sunset of the closing day. The observance of Islamic and Hindu holy days may also vary depending on the sighting of the moon.  

Some Major Religious Holy Days and Observances

The list below compiles dates to be mindful of during the 2021-2022 academic year. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all holidays or observances, nor is it an active catalog of religious communities on campus. It is a starting point to recognize and respect the array of faith traditions found within our beloved community.

*Note that Jewish and Muslim holy days begin at sundown on the first day and are indicated by an asterisk.

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  • Date(s)

    Holiday or Observance

    Religion

    September 6-8, 2021* Rosh Hashanah Jewish
    September 15-16, 2021* Yom Kippur Jewish
    September 20-27, 2021 Sukkot Jewish
    September 27-29, 2021* Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah Jewish
    October 7-15, 2021 Navratri Hindu
    October 19, 2021 Mawlid-al-Nab Islamic
    November 1, 2021 Feast of All Saints Christian
    November 1-5, 2021 Diwali Hindu/ Jain/ Sikh
    November 2, 2021 All Souls’ Day Christian
    November 28, 2021-December 6, 2021* Hanukkah Jewish
    December 8, 2021 Feast of the Immaculate Conception Christian
    December 24, 2021 Christmas Eve Christian
    December 25, 2021 Christmas Christian
    December 26, 2021 - January 1, 2022 Kwanzaa  

     

     

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  • Date (s)

    Holiday or Observance

    Religion

    January 6, 2022   Epiphany Christian
    January 7, 2022  Orthodox Christmas Christian (Orthodox)
    January 14-17, 2022    Pongal/Uttaryan Hindu

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  • Date(s)                               

    Holiday or Observance            

    Religion

    February 1, 2022 Lunar New Year Confucian/Daoist/ Buddhist       
    March 1, 2022 Laylat al-Miraj Islamic
    March 1, 2022 Maha Shivaratri Hindu
    March 2, 2022 Ash Wednesday Christian
    March 2, 2022 Beginning of Lent Christian
    March 16-17, 2022* Purim Jewish
    March 17, 2022 Laylat al-Bara’at Islamic
    March 19, 2022 Holi Hindu
    April 1, 2022 Ugdi/Vishu/Gudi Padwa Hindu
    April 2, 2022-May 3, 2022 Ramadan Islamic
    April 10, 2022 Palm Sunday Christian
    April 15-23, 2022* Passover Jewish
    April 15, 2022 Good Friday Christian
    April 16, 2022 Holy Saturday Christian
    April 17, 2022 Easter Sunday Christian
    April 22, 2022 Orthodox Good Friday Christian (Orthodox)
    April 24, 2022 Orthodox Easter Christian (Orthodox)
    April 26, 2022 Laylat al-Qadr Islamic
    May 3, 2022 Eid al-Fitr Islamic
    May 26, 2022 Ascension Thursday Christian
    June 4-6, 2022* Shavuot Jewish
    June 5, 2022 Pentecost Christian

     

     

     

Student Accommodations for Religious Observances

The student is responsible for notifying their professor of conflicts with course materials and religious or cultural observance in a timely manner. The expectation is that an arrangement can be made between the professor and the student. The student is responsible for managing the lost study and work time as a result of an observance. Students should not be penalized for excused absences and are required to make up materials missed from an accommodation. Given the impact that fasting can have on a student’s ability to fulfill their academic responsibilities, some students may request alternative scheduling for exams and assignments during these periods. If you are in need of assistance, contact the Dean of Students office on your respective campus.

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