The first day of classes at San Juan College is Monday, August 21, which is also the day of a solar eclipse. For many Native Americans, however; the eclipse has sacred significance that requires them to observe the day by remaining indoors and refraining from usual activities. San Juan College is honoring that tradition by allowing Native American students the option of an excused absence for that day. Faculty and employees will also be allowed to observe the day as well.
“San Juan College is a multicultural community that respects and values the heritage and traditions of all its members,” says Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass, San Juan College president, “and it is important that we recognize this belief and tradition.”
While San Juan College will not close for the day, there may be some classes that will be canceled. A listing of those classes will be posted on the San Juan College website by Friday, August 18, at sanjuancollege.edu/EclipseClosures.
Faculty who have Native American students in their classes will allow excused absences, help them make up any missed work, and provide missed class materials. Native American employees are asked to notify their supervisors of their intention to remain at home for the day.
For those employees and students who intend to view the eclipse, David Mayeaux, director of the San Juan College Planetarium, will have two telescopes set up adjacent to Parking Lot F for the duration of the eclipse. Observers should wear protective eyewear and avoid looking directly at the sun to avoid damage to their vision.