Case 2: Oversleeping

Class Absence Excuse Discussion, ECE400, Spring 2012


A student missed a lecture because he overslept. He asks for his absence to be excused. He confides that he had to stay up all night because the child of his girlfriend was in the hospital all night, and he had to be there for moral support. When he finally came home at 8am, after the child's condition finally stabilized, he was totally exhausted and fell asleep.


  • Shicheng Guo, Response
    • I would ask that the student brings a copy of any hospital documentation. Although this is a very good reason to skip class, it's simply too easy to make up without proof.
      • Unfortunately, privacy concerns prevent an instructor from demanding such documentation. -pm
  • Artyom Melanich, Response
    • Include oversleeping into the policy and zero tolerance no matter what. Therefore, If it was there I would say that I can't give you your attendance point back. This is the only choice for you or at least if he notifies you through the email in advance saying that he was in a hospital and that child was sick or anything what will be strong enough to proof his innocence.
  • Cody Cusic, Response
    • The student should have some official record to prove that they were at the hospital that night with the check in and check out times listed. The reason that they were there should not have to be listed as it could possibly want to be kept confidential. This could just be a photo-copy of the official document, as the original would not be necessary.
  • Seth Strege, Response
    • In everyday situations, I would not classify oversleeping as a valid excuse to miss class. However, in this case, if the story is actually true then I would accept it as a valid excuse. Since privacy concerns prevent an instructor from demanding proof of documentation, I would give the student a bonus opportunity to make up for the missed class.
  • Zhanibek Bekmurat, Response
    • Unless notified beforehand, I probably would not give back a point. Most of the professors have extra credit points, so if a person is trying hard in that class, one miss would not be a problem at all.
  • Upsham Dawra, Response
    • This is an unusually hard case, but rules are rules. Oversleeping cannot be accepted as an excuse, and the attendance point should not be given to this student. I'm sure that there can be quite a few more reasons quite like this one to miss class, but humoring one just opens the floodgates. I'm sure that this particular student might think of this as unfair, but I believe that taking a stand like this is the best way to set an example for the whole class to follow.
  • Keegan McGraw, Response
    • This is at the teacher's discretion. Obviously this is a one time excuse however it could be false. Many students oversleep and this is why there are extra absences available to students before failing the course or even having serious detriments to the grade. I believe this should not be excused.
  • Han Byul Park, Response
    • This excuse could be false, if there is a way that the student can justify his statements then I would let him be excused. However if this student has no way of justifying himself then it could only be seen as a false excuse. I also believe oversleeping is not a very good excuse of missing class.
  • Zachary Smith, Response
    • I wouldn't accept this excuse, oversleeping is not a good excuse. Though there is a backstory to the oversleeping, oversleeping is the excuse, and it's not uncommon for an ECE student to be low on sleep or exhausted from classes. Given strange circumstances such of this, if you wanted to be lenient without accepting strange unverifiable excuses you may want to do something like offer an assignment that would take twice the length of the class to complete as a substitute for the class missed.
  • Craig Lechlitner, Response
    • I do not believe this is a valid excuse. The reason is not important, and cannot be verified. Also, as Zach said above, many ECE students operate on very little sleep and still go to class.
  • Stephen Zabrecky, Response:
    • Without any documentation, this is not a valid excuse. It’s an interesting story (and quite traumatic if true) but again, if there is no proof it should not be an excused absence. Hospitals have documents on hand for such events (excusing absences) so getting proof should not be an issue.

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