Religious Observances

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Accommodating Student Religious Observances Policy

Southern Illinois University Carbondale values and celebrates a diverse student body, including but not limited to students from a variety of faiths or religious beliefs. Therefore, on occasion, these religious practices may require students to be absent from classes or other activities. Southern Illinois University Carbondale recognizes and supports the rights of students to participate in those practices. This policy identifies those practices and the obligation of students to notify faculty and staff to excuse absences in certain circumstances related to these religious practices. Southern Illinois University Carbondale does not charge students for exercising the rights available under this policy. Further, students shall not be subjected to any adverse or prejudicial effects because of their request or use of leave under this policy. This policy meets the requirements of the University Religious Observances Act, 110 ILCS 110/et. seq.


The University’s admissions process provides ample opportunity for admission and registration activities without conflicting with religious holidays and observances. However, students may receive another appointment when an appointment for admission counseling, or an appointment for academic advisement, or an appointment for registration for classes falls on a date or at a time that would conflict with the student’s observances of major religious holidays. The individual student must notify in writing the appropriate admissions officer or academic adviser of the conflict with the student’s observance of the religious holiday. That notification shall be made immediately after the student’s receipt of the appointment or at least five work days prior to the appointment time, whichever is later.

Class Attendance

Students absent from classes because of observances of major religious holidays will be excused. Students must notify the instructor at least three regular class periods in advance of an absence from class for a religious holiday and are responsible for making up work missed.


Instructors are requested not to schedule class examinations on dates that would conflict with major religious holidays. In the event an examination must be scheduled on a date that conflicts with a student’s required observance of a religious holiday, the student should be given reasonable opportunity to make up the examination. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of the class when the examination will be missed. That notification must occur at least three regular class meeting periods in advance of the absence or at the time the announcement of the examination is made, whichever is later.

Grievance Procedure

A student who believes that a request for an accommodation under this Policy has been unreasonably denied or that the student has been denied an educational benefit based on religious belief or practices may petition in writing as follows:

Cases involving class attendance or class examinations that are unresolved at the class instructor level may be appealed by the student by filing a petition in writing, within thirty (30) calendar days of the incident being appealed, to the chair or coordinator of the department or program in which the course is offered. In the event the case is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction at the department/program level within five (5) working days after the chair’s receipt of the petition, the student may petition in writing to the dean of the school or college to which that teaching department or program reports. The student’s petition to the school or college level must be filed with the dean within five (5) working days of the decision at the department level. Should the case not be resolved to the student’s satisfaction at the school or college level within five (5) working days of the petition filing at that level, the student may petition the Provost. If the student is still not satisfied at that level within the five (5) working day time period, the student may petition to the Chancellor within another five (5) working days. Decisions of the Chancellor may be appealed to the President, and to the Board of Trustees if necessary, in accordance with Bylaws of the Board of Trustees.

In cases involving admissions, the grievance process should follow the time frames described above, with the initial petition being filed with the Graduate School Dean, which is the only filing point prior to the Provost.