Professor’s rules override weather policy on late assignments

PJ_WebMost policies on absences that professors implement in their courses are reasonable.

For example, if you don’t show up to class because you slept late, or any other reason that was in your control, the point deduction on the assignments/exams are necessary.

I bring this issue up because recently DMACC cancelled classes last Tuesday due to the rain/snow storm and I was stuck in an icy situation.

Unfortunately, my apartment parking lot on the south side of Des Moines snowed, actually iced, in my car.

Luckily, with classes being cancelled, I didn’t have to worry about driving a half hour to class. Although classes were back in session the following day, my car was still stuck in the parking lot Wednesday morning.

Now, I trusted my gut and stayed home to avoid the slippery roads. I thought that this was a wise decision and any work that I would miss during class could be made up the next day.

An hour before class, I emailed my professor to inform him that I would not be attending class that morning and that I could not be present for the exam that day, which I explained that I would make up the exam in the testing center Thursday morning.

He understood my reasoning by stating, “Thanks for the head’s up. You’re not the only one having travel challenges today.” With great relief, I followed my gut and stayed home to avoid risking any troubles.

However, my professor later stated in the email, “Just be aware, per course policy, there is a 10% reduction when taken after class.”

Now, I am in a dilemma here because do I risk driving from the south side of Des Moines to Ankeny in order to not lose points, or just deal with the reduction and follow my judgement?

It’s a case of choosing to follow the DMACC weather policy or my professor’s.

DMACC weather policy clearly states on the website, “Students are encouraged to use their best judgment when determining to attend classes in inclement weather. If students decide not to attend classes due to weather, it is their responsibility to contact their instructors.”

So far, I followed the DMACC policy by emailing my professor about the icy situation, but it might hurt my grade because of my professor’s absence rule.

My professor’s absence policy differs by stating, “anyone absence on the day of the exam for ANY REASON will automatically receive a 10% reduction from the grade earned.”

Well, now what do I do? It may seem irrational to be concerned about a percentage deduction as low as 10 percent, but it may bring down an A on a test to a B.

I do understand that being present on the day of the exam is essential, but there should be a few exceptions, especially when dealing with things out of the student’s control.

By following DMACC’s weather policy, I emailed my professor before class and followed my judgement.

However, by following DMACC’s policy, it effected my exam grade because of my professor’s policy.

I understand that professors do not have to follow DMACC’s policy.

It is their class and they can create their own rules.

On the other hand, I believe that professors should be more understanding about the things that students cannot control, such as the weather.

A reduction for being absent because of weather isn’t ethical, and the fact that it contradicts the school’s weather policy makes students disobey their own judgements.

I can’t control the weather or the condition of the roads, and that should be enough reasoning to not attend class and to not be reduced points.

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