By Brooke Haggerty
Opinion Columnist, Professionally Tardy
One way or another, life has thrown us unexpected curveballs. Because of this, we have to decide what matters most, and sometimes this requires us to take time to gather our wits, consult and find comfort in our support systems, and finally to rest. But the reality is that this can all be difficult to achieve depending on one’s available resources. Though if there is anything that we can blame for not giving us sufficient time to obtain the necessities to survive life especially in this present day where the world seems like it is going to end at any moment, we can point our fingers at SMC’s absence policy.
I don’t know about you, but I am well-acquainted with it. In fact, I would consider the absence policy and I frenemies. But somehow I have found a way for it to accommodate me regardless of my collegiate career’s extenuating circumstances, but then there have been times where I have fallen victim to it and had to take a leave because life became too much to do both school and itself. Nevertheless, I still find it ridiculous for SMC to expect us to cope with every consistent, catastrophic (world) event that has taken place since 2020. Yet, before I go on what SMC and its policymakers will call another tangent versus sensible reasons on why absence policy is nonsense, ignorant, and overbearing on students, I have to make a concession by saying that it is true that some courses and majors are necessary for a student to be present in order to pass and get the material out of the class. the and call SMC and the policymakers out, I will say that some courses and majors really do understandably require you to be present in order to pass and get the material out of the class.
Now taking everything into account, if SMC and its policymakers really had “[r]espect for all [p]ersons,” one of its Lasallian core principles, then they would respect the time, mental health, and capabilities of us in today’s stressful circumstances as well as our own life-related issues. Because the reality is, there are few and far between people who are resilient enough to gracefully endure life while being extremely successful in all of its areas, especially academics. They can say, “Well, that’s just life,” and while that may be partially true, it is just an excuse to keep up an outdated, never-necessary system. We deserve to have breathers and to still be able to complete our degrees. We should not have to be told to get ourselves together and take a leave because many of us do not have the time or the circumstances to do that, and to be frank, it is quite exasperating and discouraging.
Life is hard enough. Living during these times let alone in the U.S. is insane. Why can’t SMC be more compassionate? If only SMC was and mandated that each department revised their absence policy, then we could only that the overall well-being of us, students, would be better. All we can do is keep going and get our degrees while hoping in our own individual times here that SMC will do something about its absence policy.
HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY FROM THE COLLEGIAN STAFF!
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Ryan Ford '23,