RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) | Groups


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Starting Your Own Secular Club

Currently, RIT does not have any clubs for secular or "non-religious" students. Students are also welcome to start new clubs. However, RIT generally tries to avoid duplication of clubs. You will need to demonstrate how your club has a distinct mission and different activities from existing student clubs. To explore this option, please contact the Assistant Director for Spirituality & Religious Life, Rev. Monica Sanford, at monica.sanford@rit.edu. 

Accomodations for Religious Services & Observances

RIT's attendance policy (D04.0) states "Absences, for whatever reason, do not relieve students of their responsibility for fulfilling normal requirements in any course. In particular, it is the student's responsibility to make individual arrangements in advance of missing class due to personal obligations such as religious holidays, job interviews, athletic contests, etc., in order that he or she may meet his or her obligations without penalty for missing class."

What does this mean? Well, every program, class, faculty member, and supervisor is different, but here are some good rules of thumb if your class, lab, group meeting, or work schedule conflict with Secular & Skeptical holidays:

  1. Contact your faculty member or supervisor as early as possible to let them know of the conflict. Include specific days and times when you would not be available. 
  2. Describe the work you know you will be responsible for completing in advance, such as lecture material, chapters read, quizes or exams taken, assignments turned in, or hours made up.
  3. Request an accomodation you think is fair, such as:
    • Taking a test or quiz early
    • Rescheduling a group meeting time
    • Switching to a different lab section (permanently or temporarily) 
    • Getting the power-point slides ahead of time
    • Arranging for a classmate to take and share their lecture notes
    • Turning in an assignment early (possibly opening an online drop box earlier to avoid Secular & Skeptical Holidays)
    • Rescheduling your in-class presentation 
  4. Be open to questions and alternative suggestions or requirements. Remember that your faculty, supervisor, or group may not know a lot about Secular & Skeptical observances and they are also busy and may not have a wide option of alternative times to meet. It may not always be possible to make up for missed material, but it is your responsibility to initiate this conversation with your faculty or supervisor and make the effort.

If your attempts to negotiate accomodations fail or if you just want to discuss the best way to approach the issue before bringing it up with your faculty, contact Rev. Monica Sanford (monica.sanford@rit.edu) in the Schmitt Interfaith Center. 
 


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