Vote passed to address holidays

Faculty Senate passed a proposal Tuesday to revise the university policy concerning students’ rights to request accommodations for religious observances.

“There was an effort to clarify the language of the policy,” said Margaret Brabant, Faculty Senate chair. “It also helps to reiterate the very important message of student responsibility.”

The new policy requires students to warn their professors two weeks in advance. The proposal provides steps both faculty and students should take when determining the best course of action.

Judith Cebula, director of the Center for Faith and Vocation, advised the senate on what content the policy should contain.

“The role of the center was encouraging the Faculty Senate to be clearer with their faculty colleagues about students who want to participate in particular religious observances and how the observances might affect their academic work,” Cebula said.

Cebula said both students and faculty benefit from the clarification, as they need to work together to create a plan.

This policy clarification was important at this time because Hanukkah falls during finals week this semester.

Sophomore Mallory Russikoff, a Jewish student, said she has already rescheduled one final.

“I think it’s a two-way street,” Russikoff said. “I don’t think it’s the job of just the student or just the professors. They need to work together.”

The proposal for accommodation will benefit everyone involved, Cebula said. The clearer steps will help the plan work for all.

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