Student Senate discuss excuse policy changes

At its weekly general body meeting on Monday, November 4, the Student Senate’s standard discourse went on. This meeting specifically focused on the new academic excuse policy the senate is trying to pass for the greater good of RPI students.

The excuse policy is currently under fire because of its rigidity and how tedious it is to get an excuse. In order to get an excuse, a student must obtain approval from the Dean of Student Experience and individual professors, and if one of them doesn’t like the excuse, the student is out of luck. The other option is to receive an excuse via the Student Health Center.

These obstacles are seen as a hindrance to students because in the past, they have been unable to make it to Academy Hall due to illness, and had professors deny the excuse in spite of the dean’s approval, and the Health Center does not always follow through with its promised excuses. These recent complaints have made it imperative that the Senate makes some sort of change to better the policy.

Luckily, the Senate has been working tirelessly to change the old, stagnant policy. If the changes they propose are passed, prodigious change will ensue. Students will be able to call or submit online forms for their excuses. This will make it much easier for those who fall ill in the middle of the semester and find it difficult to leave their rooms. For the first time, there will be a guarantee that grades will not be affected by absence as long as make-up work is completed by the approved time. Not all the kinks have been worked out, and there are still more details to be added, but the ball is rolling, and it’s only a matter of time before more information regarding the anticipated change is released.

All students should thank the Senate if this passes because of the amount of work they have had to put into this project. The policy has been set for a while with students complaining about the strictness of the rules for years. They have finally been able to set up a meeting with the Faculty Senate and implement a change that has been overdue for far too long. If all goes according to plan and the Faculty Senate approves the Student Senate’s mandates, then the new policy will take effect by the start of next semester.

The future looks bright for RPI students with this up and coming change. The Senate seemed confident in this new policy and Professor Lester Gerhardt, a member of the Faculty Senate, seemed optimistic at the previous meeting about this change.