R-4: RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES
Penn State University recognizes in its Framework to Foster Diversity that “the multiplicity of characteristics possessed by persons are not simply tolerated but valued” and that it is each individual’s obligation to cultivate a positive and inclusive environment.” This tenet is echoed in the University Strategic Plan goal to “create a more inclusive, civil, and diverse learning community.” Recognizing that the right of students to participate in religious observance is a fundamental element of diversity and a characteristic to be valued, Faculty Senate Policy 42-27 and AAPP E-11 state that “on occasion, students may opt to miss a class meeting in order to participate in . . . religious observance.”
In accord with these policies and core values, a student’s decision to miss a class to participate in religious observance shall be treated within the procedures of AAPP E-11.
It may not be practical or possible to avoid all calendar conflicts with religious observances. When conflicts do arise, reasonable accommodations should be made that promote both the University’s respect for a more inclusive, civil, and diverse learning community and the integrity of the student and faculty commitment to learning. Every attempt should be made to avoid placing these two goals into conflict.
Revised: ACUE (4-3-08)
Revised: ACUE (10-2-08)