Hello and welcome to “Quick Question,” the jcomm advising podcast. Today’s quick question is about mandatory attendance. What is it and how does it affect me?
There are two ways to look at mandatory attendance. The first is on the practical level: mandatory attendance means you are expected to attend a class every time it’s scheduled. In other words, go to class. Every time. Of course, this is sometimes not possible. If you are ill, you should not go to class. Your professor will detail his or her absence policy in the course syllabus. A typical requirement is that you inform your professor of your illness before you miss class. Perhaps a doctor’s note is required. Again, your professor will make his or her expectations known.
Mandatory attendance is also a University of Oregon policy and that’s what we’re going to spend time talking about here. All journalism courses are covered by the university’s mandatory attendance policy. This is denoted by the letter “A” in the notes section of the class schedule.
The official policy is on the Office of the Registrar’s website. It reads and I quote, “Academic departments may require students to attend the first and/or second meetings of designated classes.” End quote. It goes on to say you may be directed by the academic department to drop the course so that the seat may be given to another student.
Because all journalism classes are tagged as mandatory attendance classes in the class schedule, a journalism instructor can choose to invoke this policy if a student does not attend the first day of class. If the instructor chooses to invoke this policy, the journalism advisers will enforce this policy rigidly. Students will be notified via email to withdraw from the course. If the student remains on the roster, he/she will earn an F grade at the end of the term.
An important part of the policy is the expectation that students are responsible for dropping their own classes. If you run afoul of this policy, you are still expected to go into Duck Web, use the “add/drop classes” function in the registration menu and drop the class. Whether you get a refund depends on when you actually drop the class; the normal refund timetable applies.
All this being said, we have to note we don’t enjoy enforcing this policy. And we guarantee you’re not going to enjoy having to change your schedule after the term has started. The solution is easy: check your schedule before the term begins. Make sure you are registered for everything you know you need. And go to class. Don’t think just because it’s the first day, you get a freebie. If you know ahead of time you won’t be able to make the first class, contact the instructor immediately. That way, if he/she informs you the mandatory attendance policy will be upheld, you’ll have time to change your schedule.
“Quick Question” is an advising podcast provided by the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. Visit the Student Services office in 101 Allen Hall, on the web at jcomm.uoregon.edu or on Twitter at SOJCAdvising.