Class Absence Excuse Discussion, ECE400, Spring 2012

Following are several examples of excuses given by students after they missed class. Most of them are inspired by true cases which your instructor has come across throughout her teaching career.

Decide whether each of the excuses given is valid or not, and explain how you would go about checking that the student's excuse is true if you were the instructor of that class. Keep in mind the privacy rights of the student. Write your answer directly on the appropriate Rhea page.

If you

  • write a comment for each of these cases (a valid and thoughtful comment, not just a trivial one such as "I really don't know what to say in this case") before 11:59pm on March 15
  • Copy and paste your comments into an email and send them to your instructor before 11:59pm on March 16

then you will receive two bonus attendance points. If you never miss a lecture, then the bonus points you receive will be simply added to your total grade.

Case 1: Visit to PUSH

A student misses one lecture. He asks that his absence be excused because he had to go to the Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) for health reasons. He shows you a piece of paper stating he did indeed visit PUSH on the date where he missed class (no time given), but the paper contains no detail about the nature of the visit.

Case 2: Oversleeping

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.

Case 3: Possible Flu

A student emails you in the morning prior to the lecture. He states that he has a high fever, most likely some type of flu, and would prefer not to come to class and contaminate others. He would also prefer to just stay home and get better, instead of going to the Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) merely to prove that he was sick, thus again potentially contaminating others. (Note that PUSH notes do not contain any details about the nature of the visit.)

Case 4: Car Failure

A student misses class because, according to his claims, his car would not start that day. He lives half an hour drive from campus where there is no bus service. He is really sorry but there was really nothing he could do about it.

Case 5: Side Effect of Medicines

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.

Case 6: Female Issue

A female student misses class because of excruciating menstrual pain that is not relieved by medicine. She wants to be excused.

Case 7: PTSD

A student has missed half of the lectures in the semesters. He would like to be excused because he has post-traumatic stress disorder following a tour in Irak. When pressed for details, he says that he would rather not talk about it...

Case 8: Job Candidates

A course consists in one lecture per week, for a total of 15 weeks. Student A asks to be excused from 1 of these 15 weeks because of a job interview. Student B asks to be excused from 6 of these 15 weeks because he has 6 job interviews. Student C asks to be excused from 10 of these 15 weeks because he has 10 job interviews. Student D asks to be excused from 14 of these 15 weeks because he has 14 job interviews.

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