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From the Chief Diversity Officer

Posted: Friday, June 3, 2016

Policy on Discrimination Based on Religion

The college does not discriminate against employees, applicants for employment, or students based on religion or national origin.

Policy Statement
No person shall be expelled from or refused admission as a student to an institution of higher learning for the reason that he or she is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to register for or to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirements on a particular day or days.

Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend or participate in classes on a particular day or days, shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.

The term “religious belief” shall mean beliefs associated with any corporation organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes, which is not disqualified for tax exemption under Section 501 of the United States Code.

It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study, or work requirements that he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.


  • If registration, classes, examinations, or study or work requirements are held on Friday after four o’clock p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, or study or work requirements shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practical to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, or study or work requirements held on other days.
  • In effectuating the provisions of the Education Law, it is expected that faculty and administrative officials will exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student for availing himself or herself of the provisions of this section.  
  • Any student who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative official to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which such institutions of higher education is located for the enforcement of his or her rights under this section.
  • The administering of evaluative examinations on Rosh Hashanah (Sundown Sunday, October 2, 2016, to sundown Tuesday, October 4, 2016; Yom Kippur (Sundown Tuesday, October 11, 2016, to Sundown Wednesday, October 12, 2016); and Good Friday (April 14, 2017) will not be permitted.
  • In addition, faculty and staff members should be aware that Ramadan may be observed by people practicing Islam. During Ramadan, there are special obligations for fasting, prayer, and other religious observances for people practicing Islam. Ramadan in 2016 will start on Monday, June 6, and will continue for 30 days, until Tuesday, July 5. Please note that in the Muslim calendar, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Ramadan on the sunset of Sunday, June 5. In 2017, Ramadan will begin at sunset Friday, May 26, 2017, and continue through sunset Sunday, June 25, 2017.

Documents and Forms
SUNY Buffalo State Policy on Discrimination Based on Religion?
Equity and Campus Diversity Policies?     

Office Name: Equity and Campus Diversity
Office Address: 415 Cleveland Hall, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6201
Fax: (716) 878-6234

Date of change: 5/31/2016
Brief description of edit: updated to 2016-2017                                                                    
SUNY Legal

Also appeared:
Monday, June 6, 2016
Tuesday, June 7, 2016