Alarm Clock May be Ticking for Changing AUD’s Attendance Policy

Alarm Clock May be Ticking for Changing AUD’s Attendance Policy

You set 10 alarms for your morning class, hoping that for once you’ll make it on time. The first alarm goes off, you hit snooze, and you keep snoozing until you miss the class you had promised yourself never to miss again. I’m sure all university students have experienced this, but is it really that bad? 

At AUD, the attendance policy has been changed many times over the years. It may depend on the class and the professor, but according to AUD’s attendance policy students can miss two classes, and after that for each class that they skip, they get 2% off. Some might argue that this is absurd; it should be the student’s decision to show up or not. Some others might argue this policy motivates students to attend classes. 

According to AUD’s General Academic Policies and Procedures, the attendance policy follows three rules:

  • There is no difference between excused and unexcused absences. An absence is an absence; 
  • Excessive absence, defined by the equivalent of two weeks (semester) or one week (summer session), may lower the student’s class participation grade. The degree to which the class participation grade is lowered is at the discretion of the instructor, as clearly defined in the course syllabus; 
  • Absences are counted from the first day of the term.

For some classes, attendance is 20% of the total grade, such as for labs sessions for engineering students, and for others it is usually 10%, giving students a very small window for skipping classes. Should students be given the liberty to choose whether they want to attend or not, or should all classes be regulated by these rules? 

Sarah Shelbaya, a third-year DPST student, says: “I hate having my grade based on whether I attend the class or not, some classes are truly useless, I could learn these things myself at home, and I submit all my work on time, yet my grades still suffer for not attending.”  Esraa Suliman, a third-year architecture student, thinks differently: “For my studio classes, I’m glad there is an attendance policy, because knowing me, I wouldn’t attend any classes unless I had to, therefore the attendance policy motivates me to attend.” And what do professors have to say about this matter? MBRSC Adjunct instructor Maya Hojeij told the Post that “there has to be a zero-tolerance policy, unless it’s an emergency for the practical and interactive courses.” “For theory courses I believe it’s ok to have a more lenient policy especially if the course grade is based on a knowledge exam and quiz.”

For AUD students and faculty, this remains a controversial topic, but it seems that the attendance policy may have to be altered, maybe taking into consideration both the requirements of the course and those of the students. If a student generally does well in a course, submits all its work, and is up-to-date with what’s going on, a few absences here and there shouldn’t do him or her much harm. There are many factors to be taken into consideration when it comes to deciding whether there is a need to change AUD’s attendance policy, but a revision of the policy should be a good idea to consider.

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Sufanah Hammad

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