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Thursday, July 30, 2015

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Opinion Blog

Absence policy not “excusable”

By Holly Baranowski          Posted: 01/17/13 6:56pm         

With the winter season in full swing, more cases of the flu have been spotted. Unfortunately, I am one of those cases. Like many students living in the dorms, the tight quarters and easy-to-catch flu virus has gotten the best of me.

Upon paying a visit to the Olin Health Center, the physician wrote me a note to excuse me from class. She warned me not to go to class, but I knew the note would not do me much good. Most of my teachers have absence policies of one or two days, whether they are excused or unexcused.

The note said I shouldn’t be in class for the rest of the week, but I was forced to choose between my grades and my health. And this doesn’t seem like a fair trade off to me.

I took one full day off to rest, but the next day I had to take a math quiz and Chinese test. According to the syllabus, the quiz and test could not be taken at another time or made up.

The MSU medical absence policy states “Instructors may—or may not—honor an Olin physician’s request, or any other physician’s request, for an excused absence. This decision should be based on the instructor’s attendance and make-up policies, as stated in the course syllabus.”

I think this needs to be changed. I don’t think if a student becomes ill and needs more than a few days off they should be forced to fail the class. It is out of a student’s control and often, students are paying for classes on their own, which means if they fail, it would be their own money wasted.

By making students go to class to keep up their grades, they are putting other students at risk of getting sick as well.

I do understand there are many students who would try to take advantage of a lenient absence policy, but if a student has a physician’s note, I think they should be excused for however long the doctor recommends. I only hope my grades will not suffer because of my illness and that one day this policy is changed.

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