Change Otis College of Art and Design Attendance Policy
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Students of Otis College
As many of you know, our attendance policy is strict. We've all suffered under this strict two absences and third failure rule. Collectively as a school, many people openly suffer from mental illness and just this year the flu epidemic has been one of the worst in the past few years. Many students also feel overwhelmed by the amount of work we are assigned. Students frequently need to take days off to catch up on work, therefore, missing more work creating a neverending cycle of missing school days to catch up on other school days.
We've all been considered adults in various ways except this policy. They believe we are old enough to apply to this school and to amass considerable amounts of debt to attend, however, they don't believe we are old enough or responsible enough to attend our classes without threatening us with failure.
This needs to change. I propose that if they see us as adults then we need to be treated as such with our attendance policy. We need to throw out the idea that we only deserve two absences. We need to throw out the idea that it is okay for the staff to threaten us with failure notices in our inboxes if we need to take a few days to secure our mental health, the threats often sending us into worse mental health states. There are many students here who have to work in order to attend school and this absence policy is unnecessarily hard on them as well.
I call for an open attendance policy. We as students should be allowed to miss as many days as we require for whatever the reasons we require to. For both non-studio and studio courses, students should be required to attend a certain number of days in order to take tests or to have work checks for studio courses. With Ospace many students have found that the entirety of the coursework is online and have no trouble completing assignments when they aren't present. For classes that are more lecture-based, it encourages students to attend as they cannot get the information elsewhere and to reach out to classmates when absolutely necessary.
Opening up the attendance policy and treating us as the adults we are instead of the children they treat us as and taking away the threatening email notifications will better attendance to classes.
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