Carleton is a place that celebrates diversity, including religious diversity. 60% of Carleton students identify as religious, representing countless traditions, practices, beliefs, and cultures.

Day of the Dead

At times, religious holidays and practices intersect with classes, exams, and student work at Carleton.

It is expected that students, faculty, and staff work together to find meaningful solutions that honor both a student’s religious commitments and faculty/staff expectations. Students engaging in religious observances should inform faculty and staff in advance, in order to make up work or arrange other accommodations.

Faculty and staff should likewise support students of faith in observing the holidays of their tradition. Here are a few ways to offer that support:

  • Familiarize oneself with major religious holidays, especially their practices, schedule, and the expectations that the holidays place on those who observe them. View our religious observances calendar.
  • Recognize that a student’s religious practice is deeply personal. It connects to their sense of self, but also to their culture, family, ancestors, and communities of origin. For students of marginalized identities, holidays are a profound way to connect with one another, honor the communities and traditions they come from, and make Carleton feel more like home.
  • Foster an environment where students feel comfortable approaching you about practicing their religious tradition. Embody a spirit of understanding and caring that recognizes that when observing holidays, students are caring for themselves and their peers. Supporting their religious practice is one way to support student’s mental and emotional well-being.
  • Work creatively and generously with students who approach you about missing class or work because of a holiday. No student should be penalized, treated differently, or fear judgement because they wish to practice their faith. Be open to reasonable accommodations and work-arounds, and approach these conversations with a willingness to listen and support.
  • State clearly in your syllabus and at the beginning of the term that you are supportive of students observing religious holidays. State clearly in your syllabus the policies you have about how students can compensate for their absence.

Please note, that the dates of observations and religious practices can vary. There is no one way that a religion is practiced, and great diversity of practice and belief exists within every tradition.

Faculty and staff engaging in religious observances themselves should inform their department/supervisor in advance and follow the applicable time off request process. Staff should record work time missed as floating holiday or vacation time. Supervisors should make reasonable accommodations and engage in creative solutions to ensure necessary work gets done. It is important that Carleton is a workplace that honors and respects diversity, including religious diversity.

Questions about these practices may be directed to:

  • Office of the Chaplain (all), x4003
  • Office of the Provost (faculty), x4300
  • Dean of Students Office (students), x4075
  • Human Resources (staff), x7471

We invite you also to review the campus handbook for more information.