Reasons for Needing Replacement Assignments or Extensions
Students should make every effort to complete the assignments for my
courses as they are assigned by the deadlines given. However, sometimes
circumstances prevent a student from doing this. In order treat all
students fairly, I use a four point test for what characteristics a
situation must have to constitute a valid reason for needing a replacement
assignment or an extension to a deadline. The situation must:
A prototypical example of such a situation is falling ill at the time an
exam is to be taken and going to a physician for treatment. Here you would
be too sick to take the exam (point 1), you could not reasonably
anticipate that this would happen (point 2), you are not able to
refuse to let it happen (point 3), and you can get a note from your
physician (point 4).
- significantly interfere with the assignment,
- be unexpected,
- be unavoidable, and
- be independently verifiable.
Some examples of situations that fail to meet this test are:
- Your backpack containing your textbook was stolen. This situation
fails to meet point 1. While this can be a hassle, it should be possible
to borrow another textbook (from me, if no one else) until you can purchase
a replacement. Moreover, even if there is not a replacement available
locally, you should be able to order one to be delivered within a very
short period of time.
- You are too busy because you are signed up to take several other
courses. This situation fails to meet point 2. When you enrolled for all
of these courses, you should have expected that the time demands were too
great for you to handle.
- You want to go to a fun event in Chicago on the day of an exam.
This situation fails to meet point 3. You may regret missing the event but
you can still choose that option.
- You were sick but didn't go to the doctor. This situation fails to
meet point 4. I cannot know that you were really sick without outside
verification from a qualified health professional. (Besides, isn't your
health worth the fee for a visit to the doctor? You might not have what
you think you have.)
Exceptions to this rule may be granted to comply with University
policies such as this one:
It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that
result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the
rescheduling of examinations and additional required classwork that may
fall on religious holidays.