Our campus community celebrates and respects many cultural and religious holidays, Ramadan among them. Friday, April 24, 2020, marked the beginning of Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims around the world, and and Eid is anticipated on May 24th. Students and colleagues in our classes and networks will fast from sunrise to sundown every day for the month of Ramadan.
This year, in particular, we carefully consider the impacts of COVID-19 on individuals celebrating Ramadan. Under normal conditions, Ramadan is a time to connect, build relationships, and support those who need help. Lack of community and family gatherings will only add to current feelings of isolation and need among our students, colleagues, and friends.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, follows the lunar calendar, so it doesn’t fall on the same days each year. The daily celebration of Ramadan includes suhur, a pre-fast meal, fasting (not eating or drinking), prayers, and iftar, the meal shared with family and friends to break the fast.
Students and employees celebrating Ramadan may experience heightened fatigue, among other physiological impacts. Please use compassion to support students and colleagues fasting during this time. To connect with students, colleagues, and friends celebrating Ramadan, consider the following (among many other opportunities):
- Ask questions with genuine curiosity and engage in a learning opportunity about Islam
- Acknowledge Ramadan in virtual meetings and classes
- Share stories
- Extend a warm greeting, such as “Ramadan Mubarak.”
- Create a supportive environment for students and team members
- Proactively offer accommodations via Canvas announcement to students. See Policy 401, Holiday of Faith and Conscience Policy, for more information.
The Multicultural Student Services Directors' Council collected additional resources:
- Digital Ramadan: https://www.digitalramadan.com/resources
- How Teachers Can Support Students During Ramadan: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/column-teachers-can-support-students-ramadan
- Ramadan’s history in America: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/06/ramadan-american-tradition-201462714534443176.html
- History of Ramadan: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/ramadan
- Testing and Fasting: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/05/14/colleges-try-accommodate-muslim-students-fasting-ramadan