Absence Policies

Staff Writer

Throughout the school year, many McKendree University students worry about the university’s attendance policy. If you have been sick, if you do not feel like taking on this Absence Policycrazy wintermaggeddon weather, or even if you happen to be flat-out lazy, you have probably used up a few of your absences.

According to the 2013-2014 Academic Catalogue, “Students voluntarily absenting themselves from class meetings assume responsibility for sanctions imposed by the instructor.” It goes on to say, “Unless otherwise stated, three hours of unapproved absences are the maximum allowable without academic penalty.”

Betsy Gordon, PhD. has been teaching for 43 years—24 of them at McKendree—and she said she does not feel like she is wasting her time if students do not show up for class, but, rather, the absent students are the ones wasting her time instead. Depending on the course, Dr. Gordon allows two or three absences, but does not distinguish the difference between excused and unexcused absences.

While writing this article, I wanted to make sure to get a couple of student perspectives on McKendree’s attendance policy. However, since this article has been published, the students wish to remain anonymous.

A female undergraduate student said, “Although I believe that attendance policies are important and should be in place, I also feel that the professors should understand if there are personal issues arising in a student’s life.”

I also spoke to a freshman student who said he was kind of caught off guard with the attendance policies. He stated, with a laugh, “Coming into college I thought going to class would be easy because I was used to going every day for 7 hours with practice or a game following; that wasn’t the story after a couple of weeks. With every teacher seemingly believing that their classes are the only ones to exist, adjusting to the college workload and trying to maintain some sort of social life is difficult for me because I have to find the energy to make it to every one of my classes.

Realistically, it would be nice to have personal days to just be in the library catching up. As an adult, it should be my choice to go to class and make up the work. If I don’t finish the work or perform well on the exam, then that should be my punishment.”

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