Please review the reminder from CUNY about their policy for religious accommodations and a calendar of such holidays occurring during the month of February.
CUNY’s policy on religious accommodation allows for students to request and be granted academic and attendance accommodations on the basis of religious belief. The policy and calendar are online.
As a frame of reference for anticipating student requests for religious accommodations, CUNY’s Interfaith Council has developed the following “Religious & Ethnic Holidays Calendar,” which serves as a helpful resource https://www.cuny.edu/about/administration/offices/saem/religions-ethnic-holiday-calendar/. This collaborative effort of faith leaders associated with our University gives us a good base of information for expanding our knowledge of important observances and confirming student requests for accommodations. Please be mindful, the observance of some holidays may impact activity on days immediately prior to or following the official date. While not necessarily an exhaustive list, the Calendar highlights the following days of religious observance in the month of February:
|Religion/Group||Holiday||Description||Obligations/restrictions affiliated with the holidays||Dates||Traditions or Practices|
|Confucian, Daoist and Buddhist||Lunar New Year||Also known as the Spring Festival, an important festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar.||NA||February 1, 2022||China’s Spring Festival is rich in tradition and customs. The main Chinese New Year activities include1) putting up decorations, 2) eating reunion dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, 3) firecrackers and fireworks, 4) giving red envelopes and other gifts, and 5) watching lion and dragon dances.|
|Christian||Candlemas||Commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.||NA||February 2||In Christian communities today, Candlemas continues to be a day of purification, renewal, and hope. Some call the day Candlemas (Candle Mass), which comes from the activities associated with the feast. Often local churches hand out candles, or people bring their own, to be blessed. After an antiphon, during which the candles held by the people are lighted, there is a procession into the church. During the procession to the church, the Nunc Dimittis is sung, replicating the words that Simeon proclaimed. In Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, the procession into the church for Mass commemorates Christ’s entrance into the temple.|
|Buddhist||Nirvana Day||Celebrates the day when the historical Buddha achieved Parinirvana, or complete Nirvana, upon the death of his physical body. Sometimes celebrated on February 8.||NA||February 15||Nirvana Day is an annual Buddhist festival that remembers the death of the Buddha when he reached Nirvana at the age of 80. Nirvana is believed to be the end of the cycle of death and rebirth. Buddhism teaches that Nirvana is reached when all want and suffering is gone. Buddhists may celebrate Nirvana Day by meditating or by going to Buddhist temples or monasteries.|
For questions about CUNY’s policy on religious accommodations, or to add additional observances, please contact Zina Richardson, Director of Operations, Student Inclusion Initiatives at email@example.com.
Thank you for your support, and for your enduring commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at CUNY.
By the Division of Academic Affairs