Good Friday and other religious holiday absences can be excused

Matt Liasse and Matt Liasse

Classes will be in session on Good Friday, but students shouldn’t feel obligated to shift their religious priorities.

Students are allowed to choose to participate in their religious activities on Friday but excused absences are completely left up to each instructor on campus, Jill Carr, the dean of students, said.

“[Excused absences are] not automatic,” she said. “Students are encouraged to discuss arrangements with their professors ahead of time.”

Carr said that professors are encouraged to be sensitive to the religious affiliations of students, but makeup course work is to be completed, just like any other absence.

Communicating any religious concerns that interfere with class times with professors is the standard rule for not only Good Friday, but also many other religious holidays, including Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan and Hanukkah.

Carr said Good Friday services do not usually take up the entire day. Students are able to attend some classes but are not required to if they feel pulled towards religious services.

“Since it is a public school, they should respect everyone’s religion and either keep classes [in session] or have other religious holidays off that different religions celebrate,” said junior Chantay Walker.

Provost Ken Borland was not available to comment for this story, but the Office of the Provost encourages students to take a look at the Faculty Senate’s official Academic Charter.

According to the charter the University is to “make every reasonable effort allowing students to observe their religious holidays without academic penalty.”

The charter also lists the “obligation of the student” to communicate their absences with their professors and also states such absences do not “relieve the student of responsibility for completing required work missed.”

“The student should consult with the instructor to determine what appropriate alternative opportunity will be provided,” the charter stated.

The University does not base which days classes are not in session on the number of permitted snow days said Dean of the College Of Musical Arts Richard Kennell, who also said that belief is an “urban legend.”

Anthony Guerrini, a former student of the University, said he didn’t know how to go about taking the excused day off and said instructors should tell their classes early their status on the religious holiday, whether they will be excusing absences that day or canceling class altogether.