Excused Absences

Policy Statement

Regular class attendance is expected of all students.Instructors must include a written statement of requirements regarding attendance and class participation in a course syllabus that should be distributed by the second class day. In preparing statements regarding class attendance, instructors should be aware of the following official statements and regulations:

Policy Elaboration

Field Trips. Extended field trips may remove students from classes of other faculty members. Instructors should not interfere with the student’s right or responsibility to go on any College approved extended field trip. See "Field Trip Policies and Procedures" in the General Information, Policies and Procedures chapter for additional details.

Religious Reasons. State Education law (Section 224-a) states that any student who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall be excused from any examinations, study or work requirements. SUNY Oneonta is obligated to provide an equivalent opportunity for students to make up any examination, study or work requirement that he or she may have missed because of such absence (complete text of the law follows).

Military Leave. Students called to military duty should contact instructors immediately and discuss jointly with them and the Office of Student Development length of absence if known and if a formal leave would be appropriate.

Jury Duty. The student is required to show proof to instructors.

Intercollegiate Athletics. Students on College athletic teams should not be required to attend class at times that conflict with official intercollegiate athletic events or be denied the same opportunity to make up the work or demonstrate competence that would be given any other students with a legitimate reason for absence, such as illness or a co-curricular field trip. Athletic absences should be treated the same as other excused absences.

Trips of College Performing Organizations. Students absent due to College Performances should not be required to attend classes at times that conflict with these performance schedules nor should they be denied the same opportunity to make up the work or demonstrate competence that would be given any other student with a legitimate reason for absence, such as illness or a co-curricular field trip.

Documented Illness. The student should communicate directly with instructors if they will miss classes due to illness. The Student Health Center will not provide excuses for students who miss classes due to an appointment or walk-in visit at the Center. The Student Health Center will, with documented authorization from the student, be glad to verify an illness or injury if the instructor wishes to call. If a student is advised not to attend class due to long-term illness or serious injury, the Office of Student Development will notify instructors.

Death of a Close Relative. Students should contact instructors individually or may contact the Office of Student Development who will then notify instructors of anticipated duration of absence.

Inclement Weather. At the request of the College Senate, the following statement is part of SUNY Oneonta’s policy on inclement weather: "Commuting students who miss classes due to inclement weather will be permitted to make up academic work without penalty."

Other. Natural calamities, accidents beyond student’s control, and other appropriate reasons deemed valid by the instructor.

Whether an absence is excused or unexcused, students have full responsibility for obtaining information and assignments covered during the class or laboratory periods missed. While the instructor has an obligation to help students who have missed classes for bona fide reasons, such assistance shall not require unreasonable effort by the instructor.

If informed, the Office of Student Development will notify faculty of student absence when students are unable to contact their faculty. This will be done in the following situations:

  1. when a student is staying in the hospital for several days;
  2. when a student leaves campus quickly and unexpectedly due to reasons beyond his/her control and will not return for several days;
  3. when a student unexpectedly cannot return to campus due to reasons beyond his/her control.

Related Documents / Policies

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