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Guidance for Holiday Best Practices

When we acknowledge dates of cultural and religious significance, we create a more respectful and inclusive environment for all. While the end of the year is often a time for celebration and reflection, religious and cultural observances may coincide with important culminating activities including final exams, meetings, and other end of year events. In accordance with California State Education Code section 92640, instructors will always make reasonable attempts to accommodate student needs when scheduled exams or academic activities may interfere with a student’s religious observances. University departments, leaders, and administrators are expected to be inclusive and sensitive to the cultural and religious practices and celebrations of employees, students, and visitors. 

UC San Diego encourages our campus community to utilize inclusive best practices to ensure that all members of our university are considered and represented when professional or academic events are scheduled. This electronic multicultural calendar is provided as a tool for community members to learn about the different celebrations, holidays, and events in which our staff, students, and faculty may actively participate.

Please note that this calendar is coordinated and maintained by an external vendor. For questions or concerns regarding content, please refer to the contact information on their site.

The following are recommended best practices for the holidays, including making accommodations or planning inclusive celebrations:

  • Consider the dates listed in the multicultural calendar when scheduling classes, work deadlines, meetings, and events to ensure individuals are not excluded or pressured unfairly to attend certain events. 
  • Provide options for taking time off for employees who celebrate religious/holy days.
  • When planning meetings or events with food, consider that some holidays involve fasting or other dietary restrictions.
  • Allow time for staff to participate in heritage or history months events, or other cultural days with speakers, displays, and educational activities.
  • Be sensitive to the beliefs and non-beliefs of other students, employees, and visitors. 
  • When scheduling activities, solicit anonymous feedback regarding accommodations and preferences to avoid asking about individuals’ beliefs.
  • Avoid decorations that are inconsistent with the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Following these best practices will help foster a campus climate where all feel seen and valued. At UC San Diego, our diversity is what makes us excellent, and we will continue working towards achieving true inclusion in all areas of university life. For questions or concerns regarding Holiday Best Practices, please contact us at

Download the Multicultural Calendar.