Testing Your Faith Act (H.B. 353)
House Bill 353 (H.B. 353) took effect this past Spring 2023 Semester. Under this House Bill students need to be reasonably accommodated in regard to academic requirements including exams and academic absences for sincerely held religious beliefs and practices. Students must be permitted up to three days of absence per semester, without penalty, for religious holidays or to participate in organized activities conducted under the auspices of any religious or spiritual organization. To ensure compliance with H.B. 353, Kent State University adopted a new administrative policy regarding accommodations for student religious and spiritual beliefs (3-01.14).
Syllabi should include information on how to request an accommodation. Under current guidance, students need to submit a request in writing to the instructor within 14 days after the first day of instruction. Instructors must accept without question the sincerity of a student’s religious or spiritual belief system and keep requests for accommodations confidential.
Syllabus Statement Suggested Language
The University welcomes individuals from all different faiths, philosophies, religious traditions, and other systems of belief, and supports their respective practices. In compliance with University policy and the Ohio Revised Code, the University permits students to request class absences for up to three (3) days, per term, in order to participate in organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or other religious or spiritual organization. Students will not be penalized as a result of any of these excused absences.
The request for excusal must be made, in writing, no later than fourteen (14) days after the first day of instruction in a particular course and include the date(s) of each proposed absence or request for alternative religious accommodation. The request must clearly state that the proposed absence is to participate in religious activities. The request must also provide the particular accommodation(s) you desire.
You will be notified by me if your request for accommodation is approved, or, if it is approved with modification. I will work with you in an effort to arrange a mutually agreeable alternative arrangement. For more information regarding this Policy you may contact the Student Ombuds (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Frequently Asked Questions