Appendix D: RISO Statements

Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO) Policy

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out by their respective Faculty, as per McMaster’s 2015 Policy on Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances.

In most cases, students should contact their professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, labs, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Example RISO Statements

The University recognizes that, on occasion, the timing of a student’s religious, Indigenous, or spiritual observances and that of their academic obligations may conflict. In such cases, the University will provide reasonable academic accommodation for students that is consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code. If you have any questions during the process, you may seek assistance from the Equity and Inclusion Office.

How to request accommodation for Academic Obligations: You must submit a RISO form (available on your Faculty website) to your Faculty Office within ten (10) working days from the start of the semester in which the accommodation is necessary. For observances for which specific dates/details are not known in advance, inform your Faculty Office of the potential conflict. Your Faculty Office will notify you and your instructor that the request has been approved within five (5) working days after submission. You must then contact your instructor as soon as possible to work out the details of your accommodation (e.g. rescheduling, extension) at least five (5) working days before the date of the conflict. The instructor must respond to you within ten (10) working days of you reaching out to them. In situations where you must leave class for short periods (e.g., to pray) you should work with your instructor to make mutually agreeable arrangements

[Dr. Janice Hladki, Gender Studies and Feminist Research, 2016, p. 2-3]

If you require an accommodation to meet a religious obligation or to celebrate an important religious holiday, you may submit the Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO) Form to the Associate Dean’s Office. You can find all paperwork needed here:

[Dr. Jonathan Bradley, Engineering, 2017, p. 4]



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