Attendance Polices Impact Students’ Time and Grades

Story by India Ambrose

Central Michigan University’s lack of a school-wide  attendance policy opens doors for professors to create their own.

These attendance policies vary, though the common unexcused absence allowance is two per semester.

According to CMU’s missed class policy, “Upon the assumption that class attendance is a responsibility shared by adults, as teachers and class members, there is no university-wide regulation requiring attendance by students, or requiring the instructor to excuse absences from classes or examination.”

Though there is not a university-wide regulation for attendance, students are still facing policies campus wide that impacted not only their grades, but also their mental health.

“For my dance class, we get two skips a semester. Of course, you need to be there to learn the dances, but because the policy is strict, it can be stressful and can cause a lot of anxiety,” said CMU junior Laken Hoody.

It is all up to faculty to decide not only their policy on attendance, but if they are willing to assist students in making up missed assignments due to absences exceeding the set missed class policy in that course.  

Sophomore Winter Graham had a class with no excused absences and another with only two skips that would lead to a letter grade deduction if exceeded. 

“These policies had negative impacts which led to me feeling drained and stressed. Without a universal attendance policy, there is a room for discrepancies with grading,” Graham said. 

With the extra stress of attendance policies looming over students’ heads, mental health days are something they have been wanting to see implemented.

“Students should be allowed up to three mental health days for their classes or more,” said Graham . Only two days off for four months is very low and does not account for when life happens.”

For the times when students are not able to communicate with their professors about absences, students can contact their college or Graduate Dean’s office or the Office of Student Life.