Illness notes again required

Tuition-paying adults should not have to prove illness to their professors.

by Lucy Saliger

This morning I checked my e-mail to find that the University of Minnesota is reinstating its policy requiring a doctorâÄôs note in order for missed classes to be excused for students. It is amazing that any progressive professor or administrator would support or enforce this paternalistic policy that shows us yet again that students are treated like children by the University and are to submit to faculty as authoritarian dictators, some of whom are, at least, benevolent. Will the professors be bringing us notes if they have to miss a class because they claim they are ill? After all, we are the ones paying for the classes; teachers and administrators are not paying us a salary to be here. Interestingly, most jobs are willing to take the word of their employees when employees say they are sick, unless it becomes an extended illness. Why does the University want to contribute to an adversarial relationship between professors and students? This is a ridiculous and unrealistic policy because most of us do not go running off to a doctor to give us a note for our professors every time we are sick. This is a needless expense for us and our insurance providers and may set back our recovery efforts when we must drag ourselves to a doctor rather than get the rest we need at home. We are all adults here. I am in my 40s, but for adult students of any age, it is demeaning to be asked by professors to prove we arenâÄôt lying about our sickness. It is a bizarre experience to read and discuss enlightened ideas about democracy and social justice while being reminded by policies like this that our University does not function as a democracy with equal rights and policies applied to all its members. Those attempting to enforce this should be embarrassed to participate in such hypocrisy. Lucy Saliger University undergraduate student