Office of Equity and Inclusion

Diversity in the Classroom
Red Dragon Welcome
Diversity in the Classroom
Bernadette Tiapo
Dr. Bernadette Tiapo
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer

The Office of Equity and Inclusion at SUNY Oneonta began in 2006, created as a recommendation to then-President Alan Donovan by the President’s Council on Diversity. Over the years it has adapted to the changing needs of the campus community and is now an umbrella unit for multiple institutional responsibilities that are dedicated to issues of diversity in their broadest sense.

The Office of Equity and Inclusion is led by the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Bernadette Tiapo, a member of the President’s Cabinet, who is responsible for supervision of the Affirmative Action/Title IX office, the Center for Racial Justice and Inclusive Excellence (CRJIE), and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives and Operations.

Our hope is to provide advisement, consistency and support for diverse constituents, the whole of the campus community and for our institutional aspirations. Our work supports institutional core values that provide the foundation for all that SUNY Oneonta does, with a particular focus on student engagement and building an inclusive and welcoming community. We accomplish our goals by focusing on the needs of individual diverse community members, on the success of students from diverse communities, and on educating and supporting programming to build an inclusive community.

Our Mission

The Office of Equity and Inclusion is dedicated to supporting the equity, diversity and inclusion endeavors of SUNY Oneonta's academic divisions, administrative departments, and all offices. Important to our mission is our work with both individuals and groups in their efforts to feel included and have voice in shaping our community. We further strive to acknowledge, embrace and affirm a broad vision of diversity that recognizes emergent communities and their needs in our effort to be truly inclusive. The Office accomplishes these ideals through engaging in cross divisional collaborations, participating in and providing professional development opportunities to build consensus and understanding, and working tirelessly to create an inclusive civil working and learning campus community.

Religious Holidays

Education Law (Section 224-a) states that any student who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall be excused from any examinations, study or work requirements.

Similarly, under New York State law, SUNY Oneonta is obligated to provide an equivalent opportunity for faculty to be absent from classes for religious observance. In such cases, faculty may notify students of alternate class arrangements, assignments, or cancellation. Such absences may not result in additional class sessions scheduled outside the existing time pattern for the course.

Religious Holidays and Dates Spring 2024
Holiday Date(s)
ORTHODOX CHRISTMAS (ORTHODOX) is the annual religious and cultural commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ following the Julian calendar 1/07/2024
LUNAR NEW YEAR (BUDDHISM) is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. 1/25/2024
SHIVRATRI (HINDUISM) Is a festival celebrated annually in honor of the god Shiva. The name also refers to the night when Shiva performs the heavenly dance. 3/08/2024
RAMADAN (ISLAM) is the ninth most sacred month in Islamic culture that Muslims observe to mark when Allah sent an angel to Prophet Muhammad to reveal the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
SPRING EQUINOX (PAGAN) is the second of three spring celebrations, during which light and darkness are again in balance, with light on the rise 3/19/2024
NAW-RUZ (BAHA'I) is an ancient Persian festival celebrating the New Year and for Baha’is it marks the end of the annual 19-Day Fast and coincides with the spring equinox. 3/20/2024
FAST OF ESTHER (JUDAISM) is a fast from dawn until dusk on Purim eve. 3/23/2024
PURIM (JUDAISM) is the Jewish festival commemorating the saving of the Jewish people and the defeat of Haman as recounted in the Book of Esther. 3/23/2024-3/24/2024
PALM SUNDAY (CHRISTIAN, UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST) is a feast that commemorates Christ's entry into Jerusalem. Falls on the Sunday before Easter 3/24/2024
HOLI (HINDUISM) is a popular ancient festival, signifying the triumph of good over evil, as it celebrates the victory of Lord Vishnu as Narasimha Narayana over Hiranyakashipu. 3/25/2024
HOLY (MAUNDY) THURSDAY (CHRISTIAN, UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST) is the day during Holy Week that commemorates the Washing of the Feet and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles 3/28/2024
GOOD FRIDAY (CHRISTIAN, UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST) is a holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. 3/29/2024
EASTER/PASCHA (CHRISTIANITY) is the Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion. 3/31/2024
MEMORIAL OF JESUS' DEATH (JEHOVAH WITNESS) is the anniversary of the death of Jesus TBA
LAYLAT AL-QADR (ISLAM) is an Islamic festival that commemorates the night on which God first revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel 4/6/2024
EID AL-FITR (ISLAM) is the "Festival of Breaking the Fast" may be called Lesser Eid or Eid, is celebrated by Muslims worldwide to mark the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. 4/09/2024-4/10/2024
MAHAVIRA-JAYANTI (JAINISM/SIKHISM/HINDUISM) is one of the most important religious festivals in Jainism, celebrating the birth of Mahavir, the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara of present Avasarpiṇī. 4/21/2024
RIDVAN (BAHA'I) commemorates the 12 days when Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Baha’i faith, publicly proclaimed His mission as God’s messenger for this age. Elections for local, national and international Baha’i institutions are generally held. 4/21/2024-5/02/2024
FAST OF THE FIRSTBORN (JUDAISM) a day of fasting that usually falls on the day before Passover 4/22/2024
PASSOVER/PESACH (JUDAISM) marks the deliverance of the Jewish people from Egypt. The first and last two days are observed as full holidays. Includes a ceremonial meal called the Seder comprising food of symbolic significance, traditions and prayers. 4/22/2024-4/30/2024
GREAT FRIDAY (ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN) is celebrated Friday before Easter according to the Julian calendar 5/3/2024
ORTHODOX EASTER (ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN) this day celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion on Orthodox Good Friday 5/5/2024
ASCENSION DAY (CHRISTIAN) commemorates the Christian belief of the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. 5/9/2024
DECLARATION OF THE BÁB (BAHA’I) commemorates when the Báb, announced that He was the Herald of a new Messenger of God. 5/22/2024
VESAK (BUDDHISM) this festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha in Theravada, Tibetan Buddhism and Navayana 5/23/2024
ASCENSION OF THE BAHA’U’LLAH (BAHA’I) marks the passing of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Baha’i Faith. 5/29/2024
SHAVUOT (JUDAISM) is the ‘Feast of Weeks’, which marks the giving of the Law (Torah) at Mt. Sinai, and is often linked with the Confirmation of teenagers. 6/11/2024-6/13/2024
PENTECOST (CHRISTIAN, UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST) this day commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ 6/12/2024
ORTHODOX ASCENSION DAY (ORTHODOX) marks the ascension of Jesus Christ and is observed by all members of the Orthodox Church. 6/13/2024
EID AL-ADHA (ISLAM) is the latter of the two Islamic holidays honoring the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to God's command. Before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son however, Allah provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. 6/17/2024

Religious Holidays and Dates Summer 2024

AL-HIJRA (ISLAM) is the first day of the month of Muharram representing the Islamic New Year. 7/07/2024-7/08/2024
MARTYRDOM OF THE BÁB (BAHA’I) commemorates the anniversary of the execution of the Báb, Herald of the Bahai Faith, in Persia. 7/9/2024
TISHA B’AV (JUDAISM) is an annual fast day and intense day of mourning on which a number of disasters in Jewish history occurred. 8/12/2024-8/13/2024
SRI KRISHNA JAYANTI (HINDUISM) is the annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. 8/26/2024-8/27/2024
PARYUSHANA (JAINISM) is the ‘Festival of Forgiveness,’ a significant holy event for Jains coming together to reflect on friendship and forgiveness. 8/31/2024-9/07/2024

Religious Holidays and Dates Fall 2024

ROSH HASHANAH (JUDAISM) is the Jewish New Year; start of the Ten Days of Penitence. The first two days are observed as full holidays. 10/03/2024-10/04/2024
NAVARATRI (HINDUISM) is the festival representing ‘Nine Nights’ honoring the Devi, the great Goddess and divine Mother, the all-pervading Shakti. 10/03/2024-10/11/2024
YOM KIPPUR (JUDAISM) is the day of Atonement; the most solemn day of the year devoted to fasting, prayer and repentance. 10/12/2024
SUKKOT (JUDAISM) is the first two days of Tabernacles, commemorating the dwelling of Israelites in booths in the wilderness. 10/16/2024-10/23/2024
SIMCHAT TORAH (JUDAISM) is the celebration of the new cycle of annual scriptural readings. 10/24/2024-10/25/2024
DIWALI (HINDUISM/JAINISM/SIKHISM/ BUDDHISM) is the ‘Festival of Lights’, a major festival lasting five days, celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika. 10/31/2024
TWIN HOLY BIRTHDAYS (BAHA'I) is the festival to celebrate the births of two central figures of the Baháʼí faith, ‘Báb’ on the first day and ‘Baháʼu'lláh’ on the second day. 11/02/2024-11/03/2024
DAY OF THE COVENANT (BAHA’I) is the festival commemorating Baháʼu'lláh’s appointment of his eldest son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as the center of His Covenant. 11/25/2024
ASCENSION OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ (BAHA’I) marks the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the appointed successor of the Baha’i faith in Haifa. 11/27/2024
CHRISTMAS (CHRISTIANITY) is the annual religious and cultural commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Feast of the Nativity Christmas is celebrated in January. 12/25/2024
KWANZAA (AFRICAN HERITAGE) is the annual celebration of African-American culture culminating in a communal feast called Karamu, held on the sixth day. 12/26/2024-1/01/2025
HANUKKAH (JUDAISM) is the ‘Festival of Lights’, celebrating the victory of the Maccabees and rededication of the Ancient temple in Jerusalem. 12/26/2024-1/02/2025


Office of Equity and Inclusion
135 Netzer Administration Building
SUNY Oneonta
108 Ravine Parkway
Oneonta, New York 13820

Phone: 607-436-2830

Diversity Education Program Request

The Office of Equity and Inclusion responds to all requests and will get back to you in a reasonable time frame to discuss additional details related to your request. Sessions are tailored to your group's needs so requests should be submitted at least two weeks in advance to allow for adequate consultation and planning. Thank you.

Request a diversity education program/session/workshop

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