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Washington State University Office of the Provost

Polices Policies and Procedures

Religious Holidays

Washington State University understands, values and respects the unique spiritual and secular practices and needs of students, faculty, and staff. Doing so is at the core of our commitment to affirming and validating the holistic needs and experience of our community members. It is also our responsibility to comply with the State of Washington SB 5166 from 2019 requiring religious accommodations from academic courses or programs for post-secondary students.

Students

Students, know your rights and how to access them:

For ACADEMIC accommodations: Students who, because of religious obligations, need to be absent from a class, exam, and/or other academic requirement must make arrangements with their instructor(s) within the first two weeks of the semester. This notice must be written – email is best. You do not need to email all instructors, just the one(s) for whose class(es) you are seeking accommodation.

For EMPLOYMENT accommodations: Student employees should work with their supervisor regarding religious accommodation requests. If students have concerns regarding an accommodation requested related to their student employment, they should contact Human Resource Services or the Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation.

For FOOD/DIETARY accommodations: WSU Dining Services offers a variety of foods to provide an enjoyable, healthy, and safe eating experience for Cougs. Halal, vegetarian, and vegan options are widely available and labeled on menu items. Dining Services staff are always happy to work with other dietary needs, whether they are allergies or related to religious observances. For more information, contact Dining Services’ registered dietitian Alice Ma at alice.ma@wsu.edu.

For all of these accommodations, timely and clear communication with instructors, staff, and supervisors will greatly facilitate the accommodation approval process.

Faculty and staff

For FACULTY/COURSE INSTRUCTORS

WSU faculty are encouraged to acknowledge and communicate clearly to the students about their right to “reasonably accommodate students who, due to the observance of religious holidays, expect to be absent or endure a significant hardship during certain days of the course or program” (WA SB5166). Including this in the course syllabus and addressing it at the start of each semester will help guarantee a fully informed student population. Faculty should use the approved syllabus statement about the required religious accommodation policy.

For SUPERVISORS OF STUDENTS

Supervisors with questions regarding religious accommodation requests should contact Human Resource Services.

WSU Interfaith Calendar

This calendar of WSU holidays, traditional observances, and major days of religious significance covers the 2020-2021 academic year. You can use the calendar to help identify classes, exams, activities, or events which may intersect with religious observances.

This calendar was compiled and is managed by the WSU Interfaith Working Group.  If you do not see a significant religious or spiritual practice reflected here please contact interfaith.council@wsu.edu.

2020-21 Interfaith Calendar

ObservanceAll University Holiday or ReligionDate(s)Day(s)Note 1Note 2
Fall Term 2020
Labor DayAll University HolidaySeptember 7, 2020Monday
Rosh HashanahJewishSeptember 19-20, 2020Saturday-SundayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.Occasion on which the precept of a particular tradition, and the practice of many of its adherents, includes significant restrictions on academic activity.
Yom KippurJewishSeptember 28, 2020TuesdayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.Occasion on which the precept of a particular tradition, and the practice of many of its adherents, includes significant restrictions on academic activity.
SukkotJewishOctober 3-9, 2020Saturday-FridayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.Occasion on which the precept of a particular tradition, and the practice of many of its adherents, includes significant restrictions on academic activity (First 2 days)
Shemini AtzeretJewishOctober 10-11, 2020Saturday-SundayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.Occasion on which the precept of a particular tradition, and the practice of many of its adherents, includes significant restrictions on academic activity.
Simchat TorahJewishOctober 11, 2020SundayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.Occasion on which the precept of a particular tradition, and the practice of many of its adherents, includes significant restrictions on academic activity.
NavaratriHinduOctober 17-24Saturday-Saturday
Birth of the Báb/Birth of Baha'u'llahBaha'iOctober 19, 2020TuesdayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Mawlid an NabiIslamOctober 29, 2020ThursdayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Veteran's DayAll University HolidayNovember 11, 2020Wednesday
Diwali (Deepavali)Hindu-Jain-SikhNovember 14, 2020Saturday
Day of the CovenantBaha'iNovember 25, 2020WednesdayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Thanksgiving DayAll University HolidayNovember 26, 2020Thursday
Native American Heritage DayAll University HolidayNovember 27, 2020Friday
Ascension of 'Abdu'l-BahaBaha'iNovember 27, 2020FridayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev SahibSikhNovember 30, 2020Monday
Bodhi Day (Rohatsu)BuddhismDecember 8, 2020Tuesday
Immaculate Conception of MaryCatholic ChristianDecember 8, 2020Tuesday
HanukkahJewishDecember 11-18, 2020Friday - FridayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Christmas EveChristianDecember 24, 2020Thursday
ChristmasChristianDecember 25, 2020Friday
Spring Term 2021
New Year's DayAll University HolidayJanuary 1, 2021Friday
Martin Luther King Jr. DayAll University HolidayJanuary 18, 2021Monday
President's DayWSU Class HolidayFebruary 15, 2021Monday
Purim JewishFebruary 26, 2021FridayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Maha ShivaratriHinduMarch 11, 2021Thursday
Naw-Rúz (New Year)Baha'iMarch 20, 2021SaturdayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Lord's Evening MealJehovah's Witness ChristianMarch 27, 2021Saturday - Sunday
Pesach (Passover)JewishMarch 28 - April 4Sunday - SundayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.Occasion on which the precept of a particular tradition, and the practice of many of its adherents, includes significant restrictions on academic activity (First 2 days)
Palm SundayChristianMarch 28, 2021Sunday
HoliHinduMarch 29, 2021Monday
Good FridayChristianApril 2, 2021Friday
Easter SundayChristianApril 4, 2021Sunday
RamadanIslamApril 13 - May 11, 2021Tuesday - TuesdayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Baisakhi (Vaisakhi)SikhApril 13, 2021Tuesday
RidvanBaha'iApril 21 - May 1, 2021Wednesday - SaturdayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
RamanavamiHinduApril 21, 2021Wednesday
Mahavir JayantiJainApril 25, 2021Sunday
Laylat al KadrIslamMay 9, 2021Sunday
Summer Term 2021
Eid al Fitr - Ramadan endsIslamMay 12 - 13, 2021Wednesday - Thursday
ShavuotJewishMay 17 - 18, 2021Monday - TuesdayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.Occasion on which the precept of a particular tradition, and the practice of many of its adherents, includes significant restrictions on academic activity.
Declaration of the BabBaha'iMay 23, 2021SundayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
PentecostOrthodox ChristianMay 23, 2021Sunday
Ascension of Baha'u'llahBaha'iMay 28, 2021FridayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Memorial DayAll University HolidayMay 31, 2021Monday
Independence Day HolidayAll University HolidayJuly 5, 2021Monday
Martyrdom of the BabBaha'iJuly 9, 2021FridayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Eid al Adha - Sacrifice DayIslamJuly 23, 2021FridayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.
Hijra - New Year beginsIslamAugust 10, 2021Tuesday
AshuraIslamAugust 19, 2021ThursdayHoliday commences at sundown on the evening preceding the first day and ends at sundown or nightfall of the end date.

 

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