Senate Recap: Modifying absence policy, Canes Consent, candidacy application to open in spring

Recommendation to Modify the Absence Policy

Student Government Senate passed a bill that urged administrators to modify the absence policy to explicitly address that professors are required to give an excused absence to students who have extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances, as mentioned in the bill, include and are not limited to: a personal illness, hospitalization of an immediate family member or domestic partner, death of a family member, a motor vehicle accident, inflexible verified legal proceedings, inflexible medical appointments and graduate school interviews.

The policy would be added to the existing list of university-approved absences of participating in an activity approved by the Academic Deans Policy Council and being excused for a religious holy day.

“We have been working on this bill the whole semester,” Sarah Betancourt, the commuter student senator and the chair of academic affairs of Student Government said. “The only official reasons were for activities or religious days, nothing about illnesses. When we approached the deans of various schools, they were surprised that we did not have this policy. This would ensure students will not be penalized for something serious.”

The proposed policy would unify the policy among all schools and colleges and eliminate confusion between professors and students about whether their situation is deemed excusable.

Institutions such as the University of South Carolina, Stanford University and many others have a clearly stated list of excused absences in their attendance policies.

Co-sponsorship Funding with Canes Consent

The National Organization for Women will receive $500 from Student Government for co-sponsorship funding to be used for their event, Canes Consent, to be held on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Rock. The event’s goal is to help eradicate sexual harassment by raising awareness of the issue. Canes Consent hopes to educate the campus community on how to prevent sexual harassment from happening.

Victims will speak at the event and will emphasize the importance of reporting the incident instead of remaining silent.

Canes Consent is held once every semester by Professor Katherine Westaway’s women’s and gender studies class.


  • The transfer student senator will be a new senator position introduced in the spring semester. Three seats will be open for transfer student senators.

    Filing for candidacy for the Student Government president, vice president, treasurer and senators begins on Jan. 11, 2016. Information packets are available in the Shalala Student Center 210A starting at 9 a.m. Applications are available at