Request Documentation for Student Activities/Student Life Absence

The University of Minnesota administrative policy “Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences:  Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris and Rochester” provides that “Students will not be penalized for absence during the semester due to unavoidable or legitimate circumstances.”  The policy notes, “Such circumstances also include activities sponsored by the University if identified by the senior academic officer for the campus or his or her designee as the basis for excused absences.”  The policy continues, “It is the responsibility of students to plan their schedules to avoid excessive conflict with course requirements.”

Colleges and academic units may establish specific criteria for notice and completion of work to implement this policy. Student engagement in co-curricular learning activities is a valued part of the Morris learning environment.  As such, students and registered student organizations may request documentation of an absence for themselves or their members to attend or participate in a co-curricular activity that would necessitate their absence from classes. Recognizing that class attendance is essential to academic success and fulfilling the primary mission of UMM, documentation of absences for co-curricular involvement will be reviewed carefully and granted judiciously for significant learning opportunities. 

The policy FAQ include the following:

  • How does this policy address students participating in educational experiences, such as a student government conference, where the student is representing the University of Minnesota?

    Under these circumstances, the instructor has the discretion about whether to allow a student to miss a class session and to make arrangements for any makeup work. The instructor is permitted to do so, but is not obligated to do so.

  • Student Activities will provide documentation for student co-curricular absences only as follows:

    • Co-curricular activities that further the mission of the University of Minnesota, Morris.

    • Co-curricular activities that stand to have a significant educational or developmental impact on the students participating.

    • Documentation for co-curricular travel through student organizations and student life will be provided only for students in good academic standing and with a record of satisfactory academic progress.  Students will not receive documentation in circumstances where Academic Affairs staff determine that the proposed travel could be detrimental to the student’s academic success.

    Documentation will not be provided for groups or individuals (singly or from within a group) when the above conditions are not met.

    University policy states, “The instructor has primary responsibility to decide if an absence is due to unavoidable or legitimate circumstances. If a student believes he or she has been wrongly denied the opportunity to make up work due to disagreement with the instructor about the legitimacy or unavoidably of an absence, the student should pursue his or her complaint using the usual process for appeals of student grievances.”

    Documentation of absences should be requested prior to confirming travel plans (including conference registration, purchasing airline tickets, etc.)  It is the responsibility of each student to:

    • seek approval from faculty as soon as possible, prior to their proposed absence.

    • develop a shared plan of how missed work will be made up.

    Groups should specifically avoid requesting documentation for absences for the final day(s) of classes before any break (Fall, Thanksgiving, Spring) as class remains in session until the break begins and these are key academic times more likely to have important exams.  Documentation for absences will NOT be provided during finals periods. 

    When documentation is provided for student organization/student life travel, a  memo including a list of travelers and travel dates will be sent to all academic departments and relevant administrative staff.

    Related Policy:  Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences:  Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris and Rochester

    To submit a documentation of absence request complete This Form at least two weeks in advance.