Sam Houston State University
Academic Policy Statement 861001
Student Absences on Religious Holy
Revised February 25, 1995
1.01 Section 51.925 of the Texas Education Code requires that an institution of higher education shall allow a student who is absent from class for the observance of a religious holy day to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence. The student, not later than the 15th calendar day after the first day of the semester, or the 7th calendar day after the first day of a summer session, must notify the instructor of each scheduled class that he/she would be absent for a religious holy day.
1.02 "Religious holy day" means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, United States Tax Code.
2.01 Each instructor will announce the provisions of this policy at the first or second class meeting of each regular semester or summer session.
2.02 A student desiring to absent himself/herself from a scheduled class in order to observe (a) religious holy day(s) shall present to each instructor involved a written statement (see attachment) concerning the religious holy day(s). This request must be made within the first fifteen days of the semester or the first seven days of a summer session in which the absence(s) will occur. Each academic department will make available to students copies of the attached request form.
2.03 It will be the responsibility of each student desiring to observe (a) religious holy day(s) to obtain copies of the prescribed form from the appropriate academic department, completely fill out the form, and personally present it or send it by certified mail, return receipt requested, within the time limits established, to each instructor involved.
2.04 The instructor will enter on the request form the reasonable conditions and/or deadlines necessary for the student to complete any missed assignments due to the observance of the religious holy day(s). The instructor will also note on the request form the time limit within which the student must complete any work missed, together with a statement as to any penalty which will be imposed for lateness or failure to complete said assignment.
2.05 Both the instructor and the student must sign the form indicating agreement, understanding, and an intent to comply with these procedures. The instructor will keep a copy of the completed agreement form on file until the semester or summer session is over. A copy of the completed form will also be provided to the student.
2.06 If the student fails to complete a required assignment after the absence, and within a reasonable time as specified by the instructor, and the student receives a penalty which is deemed unwarranted by the circumstances, the student may appeal to the head of the academic unit involved.
2.07 A statement regarding university attendance policies and procedures for religious holy days will be published in university undergraduate and graduate catalogues, Student Guidelines published by the Office of Student Life, and the Faculty Handbook.
Martin J. Anisman, President