Section: Must read

Absences policies may change

By Phoebe Roe

Have you ever missed a class? Or two … or three? The Committee on Academic Standing will review excused absence policies this semester, possibly changing your class attendance strategy.

“I teach an 8:10 [a.m.] class and a 1:10 [p.m.] class,” Associate Professor of Art Read Baldwin said. “I never have problems with the 1:10 class.”  

Kenyon’s current excused absence policy relies on professors to create their own attendance policies. The “Conduct of Courses” page on Kenyon’s website reads, “Faculty members are responsible for announcing their attendance policy at the first meeting of the course or including such a statement in the course syllabus.”  

Though the guidelines are relatively open-ended, most professors follow a policy that allows for students to miss as many classes per semester as their are class periods in a week — generally one to three — without facing any serious consequences.  

“More or less, what I think everybody does here is two or three depending on what the class format is — basically a week’s worth of classes,” Baldwin said.  

However, different courses vary in their attendance policies.  

Hannah Cooper ’15, who is a swimmer, is in a class that allows two unexcused absences without penalty, but does not count athletic events as excused absences. “[It’s] unfair because what if you get sick or you have other stuff going on in your life?” Cooper said. “You get punished if you’re busier. … If my coach says I’m absent for a swim meet, that shouldn’t count against me.”

As stated on Kenyon’s website, excused absences are only granted when the student “is declared by the College physician to be infirm,” or ill and bedridden, has an extracurricular activity recommended by the faculty and approved by the dean or has a personal obligation claimed by the student and recognized as valid by the dean.

Any changes to this policy will likely be enacted next year.


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