Case 5: Side Effect of Medicines

Class Absence Excuse Discussion, ECE400, Spring 2012

A student with bi-polar disorder has not been coming to class for 6 lectures in a row. He shows up during office hours and asks for his absences to be excused because he has recently started new medication which make him extremely sleepy in the morning. His doctors are emphasizing the importance of continuing to take the new medication for at least two months until his body adjusts to it. He wants to do the right thing and continue the medication, but he does not want to fail the class.

  • Shicheng Guo, Response.
    • I would not accept this. Why not just go to bed way earlier? Maybe one or two lectures, but not six. Plus, what is this guy going to do for all of his other classes that count attendance?
  • Artyom Melanich, Response.
    • Shouldn't be acceptable. Suggest him not to take a class and think in advance. Make him drop a class until it is too late and take it next semester. If the class is required for the completion of the degree I would try to accomodate somehow and figure out a solution.
  • Cody Cusic, Response
    • I would not accept this response. The student should take the medicine earlier in order to make-up for the sleep problem. This is a participation class, so if you do not participate, then you should not pass the class. The class is also at 12:30, so if you are not able to wake up at 12:30 then how are you getting anything done. The student should be put on stimulants in order to compensate for the sleep problem. If you aren't going to school for most of the semester, you should not have enrolled that semester in the first place.
  • Seth Strege, Reponse
    • I would accept this as a valid excuse to miss class. To prove that the student is actually taking the medication I would require that a doctor's prescription be presented with an original signature. In order to make up for the missed classes I would also offer some type of make-up assignment.
  • Zhanibek Bekmurat, Response
    • Six absences in a row mean two to six weeks of classes. Showing up after such period of time is unacceptable itself. There are couple of ways to solve the problem with the medicine and even more ways to inform a professor about your health problems. Showing up after six absences seems absurd to me.
  • Upsham Dawra, Response
    • I would not give the points to the student. While the excuse in itself seems valid, the behavior of the student is unacceptable and unprofessional. Granted, he had problems that prevented him from reaching class at the designated time. But why did he not notify the professor via email the very first time he missed it? After all, email is not time-dependent and can even be composed and sent in the dead of the night. If the student had notified me via email after the very first class that he missed, I would have been willing to work with him. But after 6 weeks, no way.
  • Keegan McGraw, Response
    • This is a very serious issue and one that should be handled delicately. I would suggest that the student bring in a note from the doctor stating this requirement and possible side-effect of the drug as well. And even then I would only consider forgiving a few absences because as one student above wrote, "go to bed earlier". The ill-student can obviously notice a trend week after week such as this and adjust.
  • Han Byul Park, Response
    • If the student starts to take heavy medication that means that he has a serious sickness. If someone has a serious sickness he should take the semester off and get better as soon as possible. I believe this also is the students fault. He should definitely go to bed earlier. I would not take this excuse because oversleeping is not a good excuse.
  • Zachary Smith, Response
    • The student should make efforts to adjust their schedule to make it to class, you don't just miss 6 classes in a row by surprise, it's something that's happening over a lengthy period of time that you can anticipate and make arrangements for, whether it's dropping a class or getting their roommate to throw a bucket of water on him every morning.
  • Craig Lechlitner, Response
    • I do not believe this is a valid excuse. Although I generally think medical problems are a valid reason to miss class, 6 lectures (a month and a half of ECE400) is way too much. If it happened once, I think it would be OK, but not 6 times. No company would excuse an employee who showed up late 6 days in a row.
  • Stephen Zabrecky, Response:
    • Like the previous medical cases, this is not valid without documentation. If the student shows up to the Professor’s office without any doctor’s note, the absences should not be excused. Doctor’s notes are not hard to get.

Back to Class absence excuse discussion page

Back to ECE 400 Spring 2012

Alumni Liaison

Basic linear algebra uncovers and clarifies very important geometry and algebra.

Dr. Paul Garrett