Dr. Mekler's Attendance Policy:

As the departmental syllabus makes clear, you are expected to attend every class.  If you are forced to miss class for some official reason, it is your responsibility to procure written verification explaining the reason for your absence.  Bring these excuses to me either before class begins or immediately after class ends.  Again, this is your responsibility.  If I don't happen to ask you for an excuse, that does not mean I don't need one.

At the same time,  there is also a limit to the number of excused absences that are not detrimental.  Please understand that numerous excused absences will most likely cause your grade to suffer.  We will be covering a lot of material in this class, and if you are not here to participate and discuss problems you may be having, you will be at a disadvantage.
Acceptable Excuses: Documentation Required:*

Your Sickness:  Note from Doctor (On Letterhead) or MSU Health Center
Sickness of Your Child: Note From Doctor (On Letterhead)
Death of Close Family Member or Friend:  Funeral Program
Work Emergency: Note from Employer (On Letterhead)
Court Appearance: Court Document (i.e. Notice to Appear, Subpoena)
Car Died:** Auto Shop Bill
Financial Aid Difficulties:*** Financial Aid Letter
Athletic Team Obligation  Letter from Athletic Department
MSU Choir Obligation Letter from Music Department
* Dr. Mekler reserves the right to contact any person to confirm the validity of any written document. I will inquire regarding only your presence at a particular establishment, and not your reason for being there.

** Car problems are acceptable excuses for absence on the day the car dies.  If the car requires more than one day to be repaired, you must make other arrangements to come to class.

*** Trying to work out financial aid problems is an acceptable excuse for one (1) class absence.  If the problem takes more than one day, go during another part of the day.  Unless your schedule has been dropped, you are expected to attend class.  If your schedule has been dropped, other arrangements can be made, but only if you come speak with me.

Unacceptable Excuses:

Missed Bus
Bus Was Late
Late Getting back in town after weekend trip

Other excuses not listed above will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.  I want to emphasize that I am a fair man.  If you come to talk to me about a particular problem, chances are good that we can work something out.  But you HAVE to come TALK to me.  I am not a mind reader.

An official late involves arriving to class more than five (5) minutes after the beginning.  Being late to class is not only rude and inconsiderate, it is also very disruptive.  Please be on time for every class.  Of course, I understand that things happen.  Therefore, I will "give" you two (2) "free" lates.  After that, I will detract one (1) full point from your final grade.  If you are more than thirty (30) minutes late, you will be charged with an unexcused absence.  ** Such unexcused absences are NOT eligible for forgiveness!! ** Again, there are a couple of cases where a late might be excused.  Talk to me AFTER class about your reason for being late.  If you don't speak with me, I will assume you have no excuse.

Acceptable Excuses:
Bus/Train was late: (Can be used no more than two times)
Car accident on highway:  (Can be used no more than one time.  Please listen to the radio/watch t.v. to avoid problem areas).
Previous class far away: You will need to speak to the instructor about your schedule.

Unacceptable Excuses:

Traffic:  (Please leave plenty of time for all such conditions).
Fell asleep between classes.
Had to return home to get book/paper/assignment.
Working on paper (Complete assignments and print them out the night before, when possible).

If you know ahead of time about a situation that will either cause you to miss class or to be late, please make arrangements with me AHEAD of time.  Either tell me the class before or call me beforehand.  That is just a matter of courtesy.  Of course, written documentation will still be needed to verify your excuse.

Leaving Class in the Middle:
Fifty minutes is really not a long time to have to sit in one place, although occasional urgent (i.e. bathroom) situations arise.  If you feel the need to leave in the middle of class and cannot wait until the end of class or until the break, please do so discreetly and return promptly.  If you leave class for more than ten minutes at one time, please explain to me after class. Otherwise, I will treat your absence as a "late" and the same rules apply as with lates above.

Other Issues:
Come to class prepared to stay.  Do not place your book bag down and then leave to get lunch or go to the bathroom. You have fifteen minutes (including the five-minute grace period) between classes, which should be plenty of time to take care of such things if you plan accordingly.  You are considered present when you are physically present. Otherwise, the policies above will be in effect.

Also, please turn off all cell-phones when you enter the class. Unless you have a pregnant family member or some other pending emergency, there is nothing so important that it can't wait until after class.  Again, if you have an extenuating circumstance to consider, please talk to me so that we can understand each other.

Otherwise, the first interruption of class will be forgiven.  After that, any time a phone goes off--or you are seen text-messaging--during class time, you WILL LOSE ONE POINT FROM YOUR FINAL AVERAGE.

Also, please put away all iPods or other musical devices when you arrive at class.

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