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Religious Holidays

Religious Diversity and Inclusion

Colorado College strives to be a diverse community of discovery and learning. As such, we seek to create an environment that is open to and supportive of a wide range of religious traditions. Observance of religious holidays poses a significant challenge to our community due to our academic schedule. In the past, students have spoken of CC faculty who were either unaware of the holidays or hesitant to let students make alternative arrangements to complete class assignments. The distinctive pressures of the Block Plan make some students hesitant to celebrate these important holidays. It can be especially difficult for first-year students away from family and their home communities for the first time. Likewise, faculty report students who fail to communicate their needs in a clear and timely manner as well as having to choose between conflicting roles as responsible teacher or person of faith. Campus-wide meetings unintentionally scheduled on major religious holidays lead to feelings of exclusion and frustration. The intensity of the Block Plan amplifies these problems experienced by most other campuses.

In the past few years, our community has moved toward overcoming these challenges by working together. Freedom of religious expression and celebration is an important value at Colorado College. The Chaplains' Office staff would like to remind you of Colorado College's commitment to respect the observance of religious holidays by individual members of our community. As faculty, you can help by asking if students are affected by religious holidays and by providing reasonable alternatives to complete tests, papers, or projects from these days. As students, you can talk to your professors well ahead of time to make arrangements for completing all work. All of us can be supportive of an inclusive, welcoming approach to religious and spiritual life at Colorado College.

Specific Traditions and Sacred Days for 2019-20

 Block

Buddhism

Christianity

Hinduism

Islam

Judaism

A 2019

     

 

B 2019

     

 
1      

 

 

Rosh Hashanah:

September 29 - October 1

Yom Kippur:

October 8 - 9

Break        

2    

Navaratri:

September  29 - October 7

Break    

   
3    

Diwali:

October 27

   
4

Bodhi Day:

December 8

       
5

Chinese New Year:

February 5

       
Break

Nirvana Day: February 15

       
6

Ash Wednesday: February 26

     
7  

Good Friday: April 10

Easter: April 12

   

Passover:

April 8 - April 16

8  

 

Ramadan Begins: April 23

 
 

Dear Campus Community,

As in previous academic years, the Chaplains’ Office will continue to provide the campus community information about religious holidays on the Block Plan:

-Sending updates twice a year to remind the campus of dates for annual observances: in the late spring for those of you who like to plan ahead, and at the beginning of Block 1.  

-Adding religious holidays to the CC Outlook calendar.

-Providing information about religious holidays on the Chaplains’ Office website.

If you have additional ideas about how we can be helpful, please let the Chaplains’ Office know.  
 
Religious Diversity and Inclusion:
 
Colorado College strives to be a diverse community of discovery and learning. As such, we seek to create an environment that is open to and supportive of a wide range of religious traditions. Observance of religious holidays poses a significant challenge to our community due to our academic schedule. In the past, students have spoken of CC faculty who were either unaware of the holidays or hesitant to let students make alternative arrangements to complete class assignments. The distinctive pressures of the Block Plan make some students hesitant to celebrate these important holidays. It can be especially difficult for first-year students away from family and their home communities for the first time. Likewise, faculty report students who fail to communicate their needs in a clear and timely manner as well as having to choose between conflicting roles as responsible teacher or person of faith. Campus-wide meetings unintentionally scheduled on major religious holidays lead to feelings of exclusion and frustration. The intensity of the Block Plan amplifies these problems experienced by most other campuses.
 
Our community continues to move towards overcoming these challenges by working together. Freedom of religious expression and celebration is an important value at Colorado College. The Chaplains' Office staff would like to remind you of Colorado College's commitment to respect the observance of religious holidays by individual members of our community. As faculty, you can help by asking if students are affected by religious holidays and by providing reasonable alternatives to complete tests, papers, or projects from these days. As students, you can talk to your professors well ahead of time to make arrangements for completing all work. All of us can be supportive of an inclusive, welcoming approach to religious and spiritual life at Colorado College.
 
 Specific Traditions and Sacred Days:

During the 2019-20 academic year, Rosh Hashanah (The Jewish New Year and the Day of Judgment) began at sundown on Sunday, Sept. 29, and ended at sundown on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement and Reconciliation), which is a day of fasting from sundown to sundown, began the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 8, and ended at sundown on Wednesday, Oct. 9, which is during week 3 of Block 2. Depending on personal practice and family traditions, students may celebrate High Holidays using one, two, or all three days to attend synagogue and to spend time in personal reflection, with their families, or with the Jewish community. 

Passover will begin at sundown on Thursday, April 8, 2020, during Block 7, and ends at sundown on Thursday, April 16, at the end of Block 7. This year, the CC Passover Seder will take place on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Students can learn about religious services by contacting Kobi Chumash, coordinator of Jewish life and director of Hillel at jchumash@coloradocollege.edu


Ramadan is only one of many important religious holidays in Islam. Next year, Eid al Adha, which celebrates the Feast of the Sacrifice, will occur close to July 31, 2020.  Muslims observe the lunar month of Ramadan by daily fasting, communal fast-breaking, Qur'an recitation, and personal reflection. In 2020, Ramadan is anticipated to begin at sundown on Friday, April 23, the first week of Block 8, and end around May 23 in North America. When Ramadan falls within the academic calendar, the Chaplains’ Office works with identified students to arrange food they can consume prior to sunup and after sundown as well as community-wide gatherings for support and celebration. Eid al Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, will occur in 2020 at sunset around May 23. Please contact Chaplain Kate Holbrook in the Chaplains’ Office with specific questions regarding dietary needs.

During the academic year there are many ceremonial and ritual observances Indigenous/Native American tribes and communities observe. Depending on personal, family, and communal practices, students may choose to go home during these ceremonies and/or find ways, when possible, to observe them on campus. Indigenous/Native American students, staff, faculty, and guests who wish to engage in smudging and/or pipe ceremonies throughout the year while on campus are welcome to participate in these spiritual practices at CC.  The college asks that those who wish to do so please submit a Ceremonial Use Notification Form found here: https://www.coloradocollege.edu/offices/chaplainsoffice/Ceremonial%20Use%20Notification%20Form%20September%2013%20Clean%20Version.pdf To learn more about the college’s smudging policy, you can do so here:  https://www.coloradocollege.edu/basics/welcome/leadership/policies/smudging-and-pipe-ceremonies  Debbie Howell, campus elder-in-residence, is available for community support at dhowell@coloradocollege.edu

Among the most prominent Hindu holidays during the academic year are Navaratri, nine nights venerating the Goddess, from Sept. 29 through the night of Oct. 7, 2019, in Block 2 and Diwali, a Festival of Lights celebrating Goodness, on Sunday, Oct. 27, at the start of week 2, Block 3. Earth-based practices honor Samhain on Thursday, Oct. 31, as well as the solstices and equinoxes.

Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s enlightenment (Bodhi Day) on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Block 4 and remember the Buddha’s passing (Nirvana Day) on Friday, Feb. 15, 2020, during block break 5. Chinese New Year, which can be important to Confucians, Taoists, and Buddhists alike, is on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in the third week of Block 5.


Christian observance of Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent, will fall on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in week 2 of Block 6. Good Friday and Easter, which remember the death and resurrection of Jesus, occur on Friday, April 10, and Sunday, April 12, during week 3 of Block 7. Orthodox Holy Friday and Easter fall on Friday, April 19, and Sunday, April 21, in 2020, during block break 7.


While this memo includes the most common requests for accommodation, students from other religious traditions may ask for similar consideration. The most reliable multi-year calendar of religious holidays can be found online at http://www.interfaith-calendar.org

For more information regarding specific religious holidays and communities, dietary needs, and/or other questions related to spiritual and religious expression on campus, please contact Chaplain Kate Holbrook at kholbrook@coloradocollege.edu or (719) 389-7986.


Blessings,

The Chaplains’ Office