Williams College Policy on Observance of Religious Holidays
Because no Williams student should ever have to choose between important religious observances and academic or athletic commitments, college policy provides for students who wish to participate in religious observances that conflict with other obligations to make arrangements with their instructors and coaches to do so.
The policy, approved in 1984 by the faculty and trustees in compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, states that “Any student who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such requirement, and shall be provided an opportunity to make up such requirement which s/he may have missed because of such absence now – provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon the College. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student” who makes use of this provision of college policy.
The faculty (including coaches) receive annual reminders of this policy, and are encouraged to work carefully with students in anticipating and resolving conflicts to their mutual satisfaction.
Religious Observance and Dining on Campus
Dining Services at Williams is committed to accommodating special dietary needs based on religious background.
Kosher/Halaal Offerings in the Dining Halls
As of February 2006, two of the four campus dining halls (Greylock and Mission Park) feature a “Kosher-Halaal Korner” that makes kosher/halaal foods constantly available to students. A refrigerator at each Kosher Korner is stocked with kosher/halaal entrees prepared by our Executive Chef in the kitchen of the campus Jewish Religious Center, in accordance with strict kashrut standards. Additionally, kosher deli meats, kosher hot-dogs and hamburgers, condiments, breads, and snacks are available at Greylock dining hall. At the Greylock Kosher/Hallal Korner, there is equipment dedicated strictly to use for kosher products–a separate toaster oven, microwave, and grill are set aside for strictly kosher use.Dining Services has also begun to include kosher/halaal sandwiches at Grab ‘n Go, the take-out lunch option on campus.
The Kitchen at the Jewish Religious Center
Students prepare weekly Shabbat meals, and occasional other meals in the kitchen, under the supervision of Associate Jewish Chaplain, Cantor Bob Scherr. The kitchen is further under the hashgacha of David Amenia from Springfield.
Eating During Ramadan
During the month of Ramadan, students on the full-board plan are able to eat three meals daily between sundown and sunrise. Muslim students receive a card which allows them to eat breakfast and dinner in the dining halls, then have a third meal at the Snack Bar later in the evening, after the dining halls have closed. (This schedule is adjusted annually in accordance with the hours of daylight as the dates of Ramadan shift around the calendar.) Dining Services also stocks a refrigerator near the Muslim Prayer Room in the Thompson Memorial Chapel, to which students have access throughout the night during the month of Ramadan.