Allow Student Health Services to write doctors notes for illness.
Many professors require a doctors note for excused absences. However, Student Health Services has a policy against it. If you only have the student medical insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket to see a health professional to get a note. This is a burden on students. Correct the system, either allow Student Health Services to write excuses, or prohibit professors from requiring them.
For those interested in Doctor’s notes from Student Health. First off, I would like to start with some bad news. Student Health on the UW campus will not be able to give a doctor’s note. Now for the good news. What you will get, and what policy is currently being implemented to be mandated in professors’ syllabus’ is this policy:
“III. Excused Absences.
A. An absence may be excused for the following reasons:
i. special curricular requirements (e.g., judging trips, field trips);
ii. participation in official university activities;
iii. religious holy day, including travel for that purpose;
iv. active military service, including travel for that purpose;
v. participation in an official university function;
vi. illness or other extenuating circumstances;
vii. court-imposed legal obligations (e.g., jury duty or subpoena)
viii. pregnancy and parenting under Title IX; and
ix. when the University is officially closed by the President.”
This policy entails that professors may provide an excuse for any of these reasons. To address how this policy applies to Student Health, when a student goes to Student Health and is determined to have an illness or condition which would normally require a doctor’s note, they instead will be presented with the entire new attendance policy which they can use to advocate to their professor as to why they should be excused. If after talking to the professor, the student feels they are not adequately excused from their academic responsibilities, then they may go to the Dean of Students office to file for an extended hardship and the DOS office will help negotiate with your professor.
For those interested, the reason Student Health cannot give out doctor’s notes is simply due to a liability and staffing issue. Our Student Health does not have the staff to see and determine every single student who wants a medical excuse from class. This would simply inundate our service to the point of inoperability. Second, it should not be the responsibility of Student Health to determine if a student cannot go to class. That negotiation should be between the student and their professor.
For any further questions on the topic of doctor’s notes, please feel free to email me or stop by during my office hours.
Connor Bergman Director of Wellness and Student Resources
Asuwexc8@uwyo.edu MWF 9:00am-1:00pm
Kyle H Clayson commented
I agree with this. I failed a class because I had mono and missed. I brought it to my Professors attention and since I didn't have a doctors note, I was left out to dry. That means a couple hundred dollars wasted and a ton of time waste.
Alex Christian Rickert commented
This is an incredibly flawed policy. Why should it be so difficult and expensive for the student to prove that they had a legitimate excuse for being absent? We should be encouraging students who are ill to stay home in order to prevent others from getting sick and help them recover more quickly... Yet the current policy pressures students who are ill to try to attend class to avoid losing points. This hurts everyone.
Annette Estella Hein commented
I like this idea. I think there are far more responsible students who only want to do the right thing than irresponsible students who take advantage of the system. I don't think it's fair to penalize everyone for a few irresponsible actions.
Madisyn Suzanne Kirby commented
I find it really hard when I miss a class because I had to go to student health, because the teachers always want to see that you really were at the doctor and they would like it excused especially when they have participation points for the class. It would be really nice to just at least have proof, because the dean of students office can't do anything about medical absenses.