Documenting Student Illness
The Student Health Service does not routinely provide excuses for students who miss class due to illness or injury. Students who need to miss class due to illness/injury are encouraged by the Student Health Service to notify their faculty that they are ill or injured and unable to attend (and follow the directions provided by the faculty member on the course syllabus). It is the purview of the faculty to determine when or if a student will be excused from class.
This policy is consistent with our commitment to maintain confidentiality, encourage more appropriate use of health care resources, and support meaningful dialogue between teacher and student. Students are responsible for promptly notifying instructors about absences caused by illness or injury, preferable prior to the class time rather than after the class time. They are encouraged to share their encounter sheet, given after each clinical encounter validating the date and time of the visit, with their professors.
We encourage faculty members to have the appropriate conversation with the student that allows the student to represent the situation to the faculty member. These are conversations that students will need to have with their bosses or supervisors in the future. The University encourages these conversations between faculty and students as a step toward adult independence in such matters - the conversation that identifies how the student can fulfill their academic responsibilities and continue their academic efforts and achievements, while working around their illness. It is important for students to learn self-management of colds, flu, or minor illnesses and minor injuries. Most of these simple illnesses or injuries do not require medical attention. Legitimate reasons to stay home with viral illness include decreasing viral exposures to others in the university community and recuperation. Coping skills that are developed as an undergraduate will help students in graduate school and in the world of work. Student Health Service staff has no special knowledge, equipment or intuition which tells us how long the student needs to be out or what impact the illness makes on the student. Illness varies greatly among individuals. Conversations between students and faculty should identify how the student can work around the illness to best continue their academic efforts and achievements.