All students at Regent's College! Please read this as it will have a major impact on your student experience from September 2012!
The College is currently working on a new Lateness and Absence Policy. At this point in time this is what is proposed by the College:
Absence and Lateness will be looked upon as two different issues. Absence is an academic issue, while Lateness will be seen as a behavioural issue. It has been proposed to keep the 80% attendance currently in place, however justified absence will be removed. Hence doctor’s notes will not be valid. If you were to become ill and miss more than 20% of your classes you would have to retake your modules next semester. However, if there are justified reasons a student would not have to pay for this retake.
As for Lateness they will use a point system. The current proposal is that if a student is 1 minute late (and they will put resources in place to make sure teachers enforce this) you will be marked as late. If a student is 1 minute late 6 times they will get a point in the point system. 4 points over 2 years will lead to suspension or expulsion. This would mean that if a student is 24 times late in total over 2 years they might get expelled. To put this in perspective a student can be late no more than 6 times per semester. This point system also includes other behavioural issues such as cheating, violence, sexual assault etc.
This is the information we got so far. There is a senate meeting 2nd May where a vote on this proposal will be made. If the proposal go through it will be very difficult for us to change it in the future. So far the College has chosen to ignore the feedback the students have given them. We in the Student Union are very strongly against this policy as we find it extremely punitive, strict and with little room for flexibility. We do not encourage students to be late for class, however we do think that it is perfectly possible to be 1 minute late 6 times over a semester and still be a good student. We live in London where public travel is an issue and often causes delays, we have a campus with classrooms far enough apart that sometimes it is problematic to get from one class to another on time. The Student Union are not against the basis of the proposal, we do think that Absence and Lateness is two separate issues. However, we do not think that what they propose is reasonable.
There are also massive complications related to the removal of justified absence. We do not think it is fair that if a student were to be so unfortunate to become ill he or she should be punished and be delayed one semester with their graduation. This will prevent students from going home if relatives pass away and stay home if they are sick. We think students will feel that they would have to attend their classes even though they are ill and we then risk them spreading the disease to other people. We do not find this fair, and we do not think it is right to be 'punished' for being ill.
Unless the students raise their voice this policy will happen in September! Let's take our degree back, they should take our views into consideration. It is up to us now, to let them know what we think about their ridiculous Policy!