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UNG Students Want More Leniency with Absences

In a poll of 60 students at the University of North Georgia, 87% say they wish UNG permitted more unexcused absences.

Patrick Charles, political science alumnus, says he is surprised that the school isn’t more lenient with absences after the Covid-19 pandemic. He says, “I think the school should rework the attendance policy to compensate for other reasons for absence. There should be an option to attend an in-person class from home on Zoom.”

Currently, UNG’s attendance policy states that if a student’s total number of absences exceeds 10% of their scheduled classes, they may be dropped from the class. This policy translates to around three or four unexcused absences allowed per class.

John M. Delaney, associate vice president and dean of students, says, “The prof also has to be mindful of how much work the student has missed in their class. It is the prof’s discretion to determine if a student has missed too much work to successfully complete the course, and this is typically outlined in their course syllabi in addition to the standard UNG policy about class absences.”

While there is a path to receive an excused absence with documentation, some students say the number of unexcused absences needs to be increased. The Dean of Students Offices gives excused absences for critical situations including death in the family, hospitalizations and life-threatening issues; non-emergency situations including illness, injury and inclement weather; and university-sponsored activities.

However, students may face personal or mental hardships that affect their ability to attend class and focus on school assignments, and these situations may not include documentation. A student may even excel with a high grade yet still get dropped from the course purely because they have missed too many class periods.

Delaney says, “Most of our profs are good about working with a student if they learn that the student is managing a difficult situation or experiencing a hardship that is directly impacting their ability to attend class or keep up with their work and assignments.”

He says he feels that our professors do not want to penalize students by withdrawing them from class, and the student should certainly speak with their professor about this step to clarify their circumstances and their individual situation.



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Sydney Velchek, Staff Writer
Hey everyone! My name is Sydney Velchek, and I am a writer for the UNG Vanguard on the Dahlonega campus. I'm a senior writing and publication major with a minor in criminal justice.
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