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Faculty needs to give class policies a second look

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Faculty polices about student absences have been debated for years. While most faculty members lay out their late work policies at the beginning of the semester, there are special cases that need to be considered.

Grand Rapids Community College student, Yamelkis David, recently had an issue with a faculty member’s late work policy even though she possessed a legitimate excuse.

David was in a car accident on her way to class.

“I had a test in one of my classes that was considered one of the toughest of the semester,” David said. “On my way to school the day of the test, I was involved in a car accident and couldn’t make it to class.”

Although David was able take her test at a later date, her teacher still made her pay the price.

“I ended up getting a 93 percent on the test but because I couldn’t make it to class the day of the test. The teacher deducted 35 points from my grade.”

David was given a signed document to prove the medical issue caused by the accident that kept her from class.

“I came to class with a signed doctor’s notice that explained the situation, but that didn’t seem to matter to the teacher,” David said.

It’s sad to think a girl who did so well on a test is being punished for something she had no control over.

Every class has students who repeatedly show up late and don’t turn in homework when it’s due, so a policy is understandable, but the time has come for faculty to step back and take situations case by case.

Late work policies, and more specifically, test taking policies, are in place to motivate, and also hold students accountable, in the classroom, but in situations like this? Give a student a break.

Faculty members need to be willing to step back and accept that situations do arise that are legitimately uncontrollable, like a car accident.

In situations like this, the correct decision needs to be made to allow the student to take the test with no repercussions. If teachers want to punish students for late work, then punish the ones who deserve it.

Faculty of Grand Rapids Community College, think back to when you were in school.

Were there situations that forced you to miss class? Was your professor understanding? No matter the answer, take time to listen to students before tarnishing a their grades.