When we talk about diversity, what’s often left out of the conversation is faith and religion – which is, in many cases, a core piece of a person’s identity. The CSU community is made up of nearly 40,000 faculty, staff, and students who easily represent 20 or more faith and belief traditions. Most of these traditions set aside multiple dates throughout the year for various types of observance, celebration, memorial, or remembrance.
In Fall 2018, a subcommittee of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion debuted the “Faith, Belief, and Religious Observances Calendar,” created to educate about the wide diversity of holiday, belief and faith traditions celebrated by members of the CSU community. This calendar empowers students, staff, and faculty to be inclusive of the hundreds of faith, belief, and religious observances that take place throughout the year.
How might you use the calendar?
• As an employee: Check the calendar when scheduling large events or mandatory trainings that involve staff members or members of the community. If you know that a co-worker practices a faith and belief system that you are unfamiliar with, check the calendar to better understand what they are observing or to offer them good wishes while they observe a certain celebratory date.
• As a faculty member: When scheduling major class events, exams, or trips, check the calendar to avoid dates that may involve students taking time off because of an observance. While it may be impossible to avoid all observances when scheduling, a quick check of the calendar still provides educational opportunities for faculty members and more familiarity with observances to avoid.
• As a student: Check the calendar after receiving your syllabus to identify whether an academic requirement might fall on a date of observance for you. If you locate a conflict, communicate with your instructor and/or make an accommodations request with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Take a minute to look at the calendar and add dates from it to your Outlook calendar. Suggestions for observances that could be added to the Faith, Belief, and Religious Observances Calendar can be emailed to Alicia Sprague in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity. Please include date(s), community and a description of the observance.
If you are a CSU employee seeking accommodations for a religious observance, take a look at the Religious Holidays & Observances Policy, contact Human Resources, and/or discuss accommodations with your supervisor.
CSU Spiritual Care Services
Anyone in need of support in their exploration of life’s questions, experiences, and transitions in a safe, nonjudgmental space can find it through Spiritual Care Services. Services are available to those from all beliefs, faiths, cultures, and identities (including those who do not identify as religious or spiritual), and free for all CSU students, faculty and staff.