Observance of Religious and Cultural Holidays Policy (CURRENT)

Reference Number: S19-212
Senate Approval Date: Monday, April 08, 2019
Presidential Approval Date: 
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Policy #:                       S19-212

 Supersedes:                 S09-212

Senate Approval:          04/09/2019

Presidential Approval:   04/18/2019

Effective:                      Fall 2019

 Last Review:                 Spring 2019

 Next Review:                 Spring 2029


Observance of Religious and Cultural Holidays Policy


This revision removes the requirement to identify a specific religious calendar. The onus is on students who plan to observe religious holidays to notify their instructors about any required absences during the first two weeks of instruction. It also changes the restriction of holidays to religious in nature to those that students identify as both religious and cultural.


Executive Committee

Responsible Unit

Division of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs 









  • Removes reference to distribution of a specific exemplar religious calendar.
  • Changes Religious to Religious and Cultural




  • Removed language about making reasonable accommodations and replace with shall accommodate.
  • Deleted reference to the Office of Human Resources publishing an exemplar calendar.
  • Expanded the number of places that the policy should be published to include the Faculty Manual and student handbooks.
  • Added the requirement that Academic Affairs provide the notification on an appropriate religious holiday calendar each academic year.



F00-212: Original







The faculty of San Francisco State University shall accommodate students wishing to observe religious and cultural holidays when such observances require students to be absent from class activities. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor, in writing, about such holidays during the first two weeks of the class each semester. If such holidays occur during the first two weeks of the semester, the student must notify the instructor, in writing, at least three days before the date that they will be absent. It is the responsibility of the instructor to make every reasonable effort to honor the student request without penalty, and of the student to make up the work missed.

This policy shall be included in the University Bulletin, appropriate websites, the Faculty Manual, and undergraduate and graduate student handbooks. Faculty are encouraged to include the policy statement in their course syllabi. Students wishing to be excused from class attendance for religious observances must submit a written request to their instructors prior to their absences, as stated in the policy above.

Prior to the start of each academic year, Academic Affairs shall notify all deans, chairs and directors regarding this policy.