Monday, August 20, 2012

At Muslim Ceremony, Illinois Governor Signs Bill Giving College Students Religious Attendance Accommodation

Yesterday, at a ceremony marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed SB 2949, the University Religious Observances Act. The Chicago Tribune reports that Quinn participated with Muslim worshipers in the Salaat al-Eid ceremony held in suburban Chicago's Toyota Field.  Some 15,000 people attended the event that was organized by a local mosque. Quinn also used the occasion to decry recent attacks against Muslims in Illinois. The law signed by Quinn provides that public and secular private colleges must give a student an excused absence and an opportunity to make up missed work or exams if the student was unable to attend class, take an exam or complete a work requirement on a particular day because of the student's religious beliefs.  The student, however, must give the affected faculty member advance notice of the absence, and the college need not provide for making up the exam, study or work assignment if it would create an unreasonable burden for the institution.