Although a secular institution, Mount Holyoke College values students who sincerely claim their religious and spiritual identities and seek to observe and practice their religious and spiritual traditions during their time with us. We acknowledge and embrace religious identity as part of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is our goal to not only comply with the religious accommodation statute, Title XXI Chapter151C Section2B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, but to assure that our students who uphold a sincerely held religious and/or spiritual belief feel a sense of belonging within our community.
Faculty and Staff
It is highly encouraged that faculty and work supervisors add a note to their syllabi or job expectations indicating affirmation of this religious accommodation expectation, so that students feel comfortable making their needs known.
Massachusetts law Title XXI, Chapter 151C Section 2B, states that while requesting an accommodation: “shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school” it is imperative that “no adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his [sic] availing himself [sic] of the provisions of this section.” Generally, if a student requests an accommodation, it should be honored in good faith. If there are questions regarding the religious observance or request, please contact the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and ask to confer with a College Chaplain or religious advisor.
Students requesting a religious accommodation should use the Religious Accommodation Form to request an accommodation. Students are advised to contact their professors or work supervisor — preferably before the last day to add a course — to make arrangements for rescheduling missed classes, labs, assignments and/or exams or to cover work responsibilities. This is especially important for students who may choose to go home for all or part of the holiday celebrations. Students should contact a College Chaplain to discuss the issue if their request is denied.
For additional information, please check with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life Chaplains and Staff.
Religious Observance and Holiday Calendar
To facilitate the planning of your semester assignments, work, and other obligations, the College has created a multifaith calendar to note key religious observances that are likely to generate a request for an accommodation. This calendar is not exhaustive. How an individual may practice their faith or spiritual tradition may differ from region to region and vary within their own faith and spiritual tradition. This is calendar is simply a basic guide.