Professors unwilling to accommodate students needing time off due to COVID-19

Photo by: Charlie Martin

The 2022-2023 academic year has faced many changes and transitions, notably due to Brock’s updates on COVID-19 policies. While students and faculty have been asked to stay updated and respond correctly to such policies in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment on campus, in-classroom experiences have been contradictory.

Despite the importance of Brock corresponding to these policies, some individuals on campus have faced certain forms of misconduct in light of course rules being inconsistent with campus policies.

In Brock’s COVID-19 updates, published prior to the beginning of the school year, Brock urged students to stay home and away from campus when feeling unwell. The university asks members of the Brock community to stay vigilant in monitoring COVID-19 symptoms, and if an individual is feeling unwell, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, to refrain from coming to campus.

Brock also provides a self-isolation guidance provided by Niagara Region Public Health to further inform the Brock community on when and how to self-isolate.

Such COVID-19 policies, along with Brock’s current mask mandate, have been employed in order to stop the spreading of disease and infection both throughout the campus and within the classroom. 

Although there remains significant importance behind the adoption of such measures, certain classes have been reported to be penalizing students following the COVID-19 statements Brock has put out.

A first-year student in the child health program, who would prefer to remain anonymous, has experienced specific misconduct in relation to inconsistent COVID-19 policies in one of her seminars.

After testing positive for COVID-19, the student attempted to contact their seminar teaching assistant in order to inform them of her situation. Having both tested positive and showing multiple COVID-19 symptoms, the student knew that they would be unable to attend her scheduled seminar for that week due to Brock’s COVID-19 policies. Having received no response from her seminar TA, the student decided to speak to them the following week after having recovered from the infection.

“I went to my seminar and talked to my TA about my attendance and participation grade for the class I missed, as both are a pretty big part of my overall grade. She said that she couldn’t do anything and that I would just get a mark of zero for attendance and participation for that day,” said the student.

In response to this news, the student attempted to speak with their professor about finding a solution to the situation. Instead, the professor simply reiterated what the TA had said and that the grade for the class they did not attend was unalterable.

Such a conclusion would evidently be met with much disappointment, most notably when considering Brock’s policies in reference to attending campus.

“Even though I understand that getting a zero for one day of participation isn’t going to make a big impact on my overall attendance and final grade, it was still annoying and frustrating that I had to receive a zero when I literally couldn’t be in class according to Brock’s COVID-19 policies,” said the student.

Due to having corresponded correctly with Brock’s COVID-19 policies, the student was penalized in their class for preventing the spread of infection. Their frustration demonstrates the problem associated with the inconsistency existing between what the campus is asking students to do and what classes are expecting from them.

When regarding Brock’s policies, whether a student has tested positive for COVID-19, is displaying symptoms or is feeling unwell, accommodations should be made in the classroom due to the student’s inability to be on campus.

For more information on Brock’s COVID-19 policies, be sure to visit Brock’s page here.

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