On campus

Students find illness not always a valid excuse for absence

Students heading to Student Health Services to obtain an excuse from class will more than likely leave empty-handed.

“Our office does not give sick excuses,” Ray said. “We inform Student Affairs if a student has the flu, a communicable disease like chicken pox or if we send them to the hospital and they have to be hospitalized.”

Even after being diagnosed with an “excusable” illness, Health Services does not have the power to excuse a student from class.

They, in turn, send students’ information to the Office of Student Affairs that will then notify students’ professors.

“Tech is the only TBR school that gives notices to professors about students missing class due to surgery, accidents or other emergencies,” Marc Burnett, director of Student Affairs, said.

Tech’s attendance policy explicitly states that students should notify Student Affairs if they will miss class due to circumstances beyond their control.

Other TBR schools place the responsibility to inform their instructors solely on the students.

“Students who miss an examination because of extenuating circumstances must request approval of the instructor,” Austin Peay’s policy on class attendance, said.

Even after a notice has been sent by Student Affairs, professors still have the final say in whether or not a student is excused from class.

“What we send is not an excuse from class,” Burnett said. “Even though we send a notification, you still need to talk to your professors. It’s always better if you talk to them to help aid in building a relationship with them.”

Burnett encourages students who have less serious illnesses to inform their professors if they feel they are unable to attend class.

Health Services also encourages students who feel ill to stop by their office for a quick examination.

“Come in, let us check you out so that we can get you back to class faster,” Ray said. “It’s up to you to notify your professors, but up to the professor whether they excuse you or not since most professors have their own policy.”