Section: Opinion

A troubling double standard for injuries

There’s a double standard for professors and students, and it needs to stop. I’m talking about how when a student gets injured or sick, he is expected to complete all his work on time, but a professor in such circumstances can acceptably delay handing back papers for weeks or even months.

My Community Advisor last year got a concussion in a game of bubble soccer. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. This happened at Relay for Life last year, which was on April 12, and the concussion’s effects lasted until well after finals ended. When she told her professors about her condition, only one gave her an extension, while the rest responded by telling her what work she needed to do and wished her well. If that’s the precedent for how a student has to deal with a brain injury, I’d expect professors to act the same when the roles are reversed.

My English professor has a back injury this year, the specifics of which I don’t know. All I know is that we handed in our first essays at the beginning of September and our second in the middle of October. I received both essays back on Nov. 14, almost two months after I handed in the first one. I thought this was ridiculous, but what is more obscene is the fact that this is a 100-level, first-semester English course — the course is predominantly populated by first years, meaning this is their first time ever writing college essays. The point of a 100-level English class is to learn how to write at the collegiate level. By not receiving their essays back promptly, these first years lose out on valuable time they need to develop their writing.

Accidents happen, and I understand this, but I’m not sure our professors do. I’m fine letting my English professor off the hook for not giving us our papers back for two months, but if I break my hand and physically cannot write another essay I’m going to be a little upset if I’m met with emailed well wishes and the expectation that I still submit the paper on time.

Griffin Burrough ’18 is an economics major from Summit, N.J. He can be reached at


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