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An ‘Absent’ Issue on Campus

The University is home to over 4,500 undergraduate students and about 2,000 graduate students that are all susceptible to the standard attendance policy. Each department at the University has its own attendance policy. On average, each policy allows two class absences per semester.

In contrast, Rutgers University is  home to over 40,000 undergraduate students and about 15,000 graduate students. The large amount of students enrolled at Rutgers creates complications when professors attempt to enforce attendance policies. The students of Rutgers are rarely penalized for their lack of attendance, which has sometimes proven to be successful, but also detrimental to their grades.

Considering our fellow New Jersey school, Rutgers, lacks in the implementation of repercussions for lack of attendance, students at the University are left wondering why our policy is extremely strict?

Most classes at Monmouth follow the two-absence limit rule, which is reasonable, but if you miss three days instead of the allotted two, you may be subjected to a loss in a letter grade. What if it’s an excused absence you say? Well an excused absence is harder to come by than a free ride.

Many professors require a written excuse for absences to be considered excused, but as students we all know things come up such as car trouble, unexpected deaths, and sickness. Unfortunately, all these real-life instances occur all the time and may not come with a professional note to excuse the individual from class. These absences may cause a drop in a letter grade for the class you missed and will ultimately hinder your ability to excel in class.

These instances have students wondering why the University care sif we show up to class when we each pay a hefty tuition? Shouldn’t the professors be happy with their paycheck and not be concerned whether or not a student chooses to utilize their tuition and show up?

When faced with the question of whether or not I support the University’s attendance policy, I am indifferent. The policy is not as lenient as other schools that are larger than the University for the sheer fact of numbers. If the University housed over 50,000 students, keeping track of who shows up to class would be compromised.

The University boasts that its average class size is 21.8 students. On the other hand, seven percent of Rutgers University classes have more than 100 students.  In a class of over 100 students, does a professor even know the names or faces of the students? I doubt it. It is realistic for schools of this size to kick attendance policies to the curb because keeping track of its students is near impossible.

Though the University’s attendance policy is definitely necessary, I still believe it is extremely strict given the fact that there are many unpredictable scenarios that can occur throughout any given day. Whenever writing an e-mail to a professor because of an absence due to illness, they almost always ask for an official note to excuse yourself.

However, the Health Center, which is the only place students can go on campus to receive aide for their ailments, is forbidden to hand out excuses for absences. Many of my visits to the Health Center have resulted in a diagnoses and a recommendation to stay home from class for the day.

When I proceeded to ask for a note to confirm the diagnoses, I was told they are not allowed to provide students with these notes. How is a student, who has no other option but the health center, supposed to provide a professor with an excuse for an absence? It is clear that our system is flawed in some ways because of the lack of trust among professors towards students.

The bottom line is our attendance policy could use a little updating, but it gets the job done. The University is able to enforce its attendance policy without students taking advantage of it like larger schools.