50 Accommodations for Religious Observances

PDAD&C#50, 2004-05

MEMORANDUM

TO: Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
FROM: Vivek Goel, Vice-President and Provost
DATE: February 11, 2005
RE: Accommodations for Religious Observances


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I am writing to remind you of the University's commitment concerning the scheduling of classes and examinations and accommodation for religious observances.  The University of Toronto welcomes and includes students, staff and faculty from a broadly diverse range of communities and backgrounds.  It is the University's policy and commitment to arrange reasonable accommodation of the needs of members of the University community who observe religious Holy Days other than those already accommodated by ordinary scheduling and statutory holidays. It is most important that no University member be seriously disadvantaged because of her or his religious observances.  For example, students may wish to be excused from classes or examinations for religious reasons on Holy Days or on the Jewish Sabbath (one-and a-half hours before sunset Friday to one-and-a-half hours after sunset Saturday), or on Friday at 1:00 p.m. for Muslim community prayers.

Students have a responsibility to alert members of the teaching staff in a timely fashion to upcoming religious observances and anticipated absences. Every effort will be made to avoid scheduling tests,
examinations or other compulsory activities at these times.  If compulsory activities are unavoidable, every reasonable opportunity should be given to these students to make up work that they miss,
particularly in courses involving laboratory work.  When the scheduling of tests or examinations cannot be avoided, students should be informed of the procedure to be followed to arrange to write at an alternate time.

The relevant dates for the remainder of this academic year [2004-05] and the next academic year [2005-06] are outlined in the table below. Please note that the dates for this academic year were initially circulated in October 2003 [see PDAD&C #13, 2003-04 -
http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/English/page_6_1923_1.html].

Note:  Some observances are based on the lunar calendar, and thus may vary by one or two days. 

 

SEPTEMBER  2004 - 2005

SEPTEMBER 2005 - 2006

Rosh Hashanah

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Wednesday September 15 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Friday September 17, 2004.

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Monday October 3 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Wednesday October 5, 2005.

Yom Kippur

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Friday September 24 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Saturday September 25, 2004.

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Wednesday October 12 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Thursday October 13, 2005.

Sukkot

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Wednesday September 29 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Friday October 1, 2004.

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Monday October 17 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Wednesday October 19, 2005.

Ramadan

Friday October 15 to Sunday November 14, 2004. Muslims may fast from dawn to dusk, abstaining from food and drink.  Examinations scheduled in the evening may pose a special burden.

Monday October 3 to Thursday November 3, 2005. Muslims may fast from dawn to dusk, abstaining from food and drink.  Examinations scheduled in the evening may pose a special burden.

Eid-ul-Fitr

Sunday November 14 and Monday November 15, 2004.

Wednesday November 2 and Thursday November 3, 2005.

Lunar New Year

Wednesday February 9, 2005.

Sunday January 29, 2006.

Eid-ul-Adha

Thursday January 20, and Friday January 21, 2005.

Monday January 9, and Tuesday January 10, 2006.

First two days of Passover

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Saturday April 23 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Monday April 25, 2005.

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Wednesday April 12 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Friday April 14, 2006.

Last two days of Passover

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Friday April 29 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Sunday May 1, 2005.

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Tuesday April 18 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Thursday April 20, 2006.

Shavuot

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Sunday June 12 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Tuesday June 14, 2005.

From about one-and-a-half hours before sunset on Thursday June 1, 2006 to about one-and-a-half hours after sunset on Saturday June 3, 2006.




The dates for 2005-06 can be downloaded into UTORschedule CorporateTime personal calendars. This facility will help to avoid the scheduling of meetings for those who may be unavailable because of religious observances. The instructions for adding the dates to a personal calendar are available at http://www.utoronto.ca/ns/utorschedule/observances.html.  If you have any questions about downloading into CorporateTime, please contact Denise Williams at 978-6159 or denise.williams@utoronto.ca.

For more information regarding religious observances and Holy Days or for assistance with devising reasonable accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 978-5536.