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Posted on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

U-M attendance policy may pose challenge to students attending Sugar Bowl

By Staff

Heading to New Orleans for Tuesday's Sugar Bowl? Well, if you're a University of Michigan student missing the first day of classes on Wednesday — the day after the game — you may want to check the attendance policy.

Some U-M departments and professors are stressing that students are not exempt from classes just because of the bowl game, according to a Michigan Daily report.

In fact, many department attendance policies mandate that students be in class at least the first few meetings in order to be granted admission.

“Students planning to miss class on January 4 are not to be automatically excused from class attendance,” LSA Dean Terrence McDonald wrote in an email to students. “As always units and instructors have the authority to interpret and apply these general College policies.”

The official LSA policy states professors can give away class spots if students don’t attend the first session of a biology, chemistry or physical laboratory, according to the report. Although some professors said they plan to excuse students who have previously contacted them about their impending absence, others have expressed that the no exemption policy is needed to keep admission fair to students on class waitlists.

U-M has sold about 2,600 student tickets to the game versus Virginia Tech, the Daily said.

Read the full report.


r treat

Fri, Dec 30, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

@gyre... You and then 42 people who voted with you must have been a blast in college!

Gretchen Ridenour

Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

I'm confused. The NCAA scheduled the Sugar Bowl at 7:30pm on a "school night". So if 2600 University students spend good money to pay for tickets to the game, then drive 1000+ miles to NOLA, cheer for their team at the game, then try to get out of town by midnight to begin their 16 hr drive back to campus, miss most of their classes the next day because it will likely be dinner time when they roll into town....and after all this, the students may be denied admission to a class because they were absent the first day? Is this really the message that UM leadership want portrayed to the rest of the NCAA; that if you support your school at a nationally televised event, you may be threatened with an "attendance policy"? Makes no sense to me, and I'm someone who opposes all the special perks and privileges made available to the athletes. Academics should always be the priority, but students should be able to enjoy the college experience without the threat of retribution. Come on now... Oh, and will the players be subject to the same attendance policy? Of curiousity, why did the NCAA schedule bowl games that interferes with academic calendar?


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 1:42 a.m.

Excellent comment. I laud your thinking.


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

If a prof used this policy on a student who previously asked for exemption due to game travel then you wouldn't want that instructor this semester anyway!


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

Are the football players and student managers, etc. going to be thrown out of their classes too if they miss the first day? If not, then the same should hold for students who attend the game. Have to be fair.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

hahahahaha...and here I thought the Students were paying the University for services...aka "the customer"...silly me...


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

as someone who loves and hates college football, this one is on the NCAA folks (as some have said) by allowing the BCS to control things. It started with pushing games past Jan. 1 to the 2nd. Then to the 3rd. Now, meaningless games are played after January 1 ... and the title game is a full week later. Still think Tuesday and Wednesday games are good for players or fans? but hey, TV is important, right? I understand every 8-9 years or so games cannot be on January 1 (because of an NFL Sunday) but there was a time, not long ago, when all the big games were played on January 1 and it was awesome. Turning back and forth to get the scores made for a great day of football. And most, if not all colleges, done start until a few days after Jan. 1 so it was a perfect match; probably why it was the was it was. Now, since the BCS runs things, games are spread out for an exclusive, prime time audience during the week. Since the NCAA and BCS does not care about players, fans or alumni, why should college professors care about the BCS and coddle its policies?


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

I am saddened to see that people put this into the perspective of education vs sports. "I thought attending college was supposed to be about getting an education, not to become a professional fan of college football." It is hard not to say "get a life"! This has nothing to do with education, per se. Social life is a key aspect of being "part of Michigan". There is plenty of time for the educational aspect. Just having gotten into the UofM puts our kids in a special role. If you look at all the Michigan grads leading everything from businesses to hospitals, to research, to public health, well, I guess you could say Michigan has done pretty well on the educational front. And I bet there are a couple of those who may have missed 1st day of classes somewhere along the line. I am a UoM grad; I have two Masters degrees from UofM. But I also like my sports. Keep everything in balance. Sports and education are both part of life. Look at all the people who give back to Michigan -- some of the major donors are athletes who are giving back to the school they so love. And so are many in every other field. Again, this is not a question of sports vs education, rather it is a question of perspective and balance in life.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

Why should someone who is paying for the classes have to choose your "social aspects", and not something that they are interested in. It is a school function after all. look at it as a fundraiser for Michigan's cause. Missing the one class wouldn't cause that much of a problem and if it did, that student most likely was going to struggle anyway. People are so anal about missing the one class and act like its going to be the end of the students career. Oh no, they missed this class, so now they wont make it in life!!! I think not. People need to be more forgiving for certain things. This all goes back to political correctness, which is so far overboard that its causing the world problems. "your at school to learn so, that's exactly what you should do. No matter what!" Get real! Who are you to tell someone what they should do with their class semester, that they will pay for, especially when they would do just fine at semester end. Would someone actually think that they succeeded in the class for the sole reason of attending the first day????


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

There are numerous other "social aspects" that can be enjoyed without having to attend a single football game and missing class.

Cathy Howard

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

A2Jet - As long as the students are in their classroom seats the next day, (the after the game), all is fine with the UM. They are allowed to go to the game, they just can,t miss classes the next day so they needed to make their travel plans in advance. I do agree with Buckwheat. It would be good to see how many of those profs/instructors actually teach their own classes. For those who turn their duties over to GA's they should take a pay cut!!


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

So have you figured out how to get from New Orleans, following a game that will end about midnight, to Ann Arbor in time for an 8:00 class? If so, I'd sure love to know.

Elton in Atlanta

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

It would have been interesting to have Michigan turn down the Sugar Bowl because it "conflicts with our academic calendar". Untill the universities start thumping ESPN's content creation the bowl insanity won't end.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

Excellent point -- if the first day of classes causes such a conflict, then, yes, by all means, the UofM should have told the Sugar Bowl "No". That they did not, they clearly show their priorities, thus any student that attends the bowl game is clearly in line with those priorities.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

So, let's see if I got this right... The university sold 2,600 "Student Tickets"... To purchase these tickets, you must meet the University's classification of "student"... However, if you use these tickets you will lose your "student" classification... Therefore... The moment you walk into the stadium and your "Student Ticket" is scanned, you are no longer a "Student" and are using a "Student Ticket" inappropriately, and could lose your seat in the stadium and in class? Why would UofM sell these tickets in the first place? GO BLUE!


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

"However, if you use these tickets you will lose your "student" classification..." No, you MIGHT be dropped from a class. Maybe you do not know this, but at UM, not every class is every day. There is also the fact that you MIGHT be dropped from a class. Not ALL classes. In the vast majority of cases the professor would grant you permission, or let you know they will drop you if you do not attend. As an aside, I think this is a bad policy. UM students or parents pay for these classes. If they choose to miss one that is none of the U's business. If attendance is part of the grade, then that is the risk the student as accepted. There are also students who could be flying back from overseas and deal with issues that may not have anything to do with football. I hear that Michigan sometimes has snow in early January. Airlines schedules can screw up any persons life when weather becomes involved.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

It is only one day of missing classes so an exception should be made. Going to a bowl game as an undergrad is special. The senior class of undergrads have not seen a big bowl game since they started in Rich Rod's first year. Academics are very important but as long as the students inform and communicate to their profs that they will be attending the Sugar Bowl, let them go.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.

This is just another sad example of the NCAA's failure. All bowl games should be over by the legal observed New Year's Day (in this case, Mon., Jan. 2nd). Who cares whether the NFL likes us? Sady, this year's season doesn't end until Mon., Jan 9th. This is crazy.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

It would be easier for the NFL to switch days than the NCAA. It seems most Jan 2nd bowl games did not sell out. College football fans have a more difficult travel schedule to a bowl game then an NFL fan. It makes sense so that's why they won't do it.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

I think the students should keep track and publicize the number of proffesor's that don't show up on that or any day. There supposed to be paying for a first class education and God knows these people get paid enough.

Ron Granger

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

There are students who are eagerly waiting to get into some of those classes. If they are willing to put their education ahead of watching sports, then I say give them the spots in the class.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

I thought attending college was supposed to be about getting an education, not to become a professional fan of college football.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

that's just stupid. give these kids a break.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

Way to go U of M!


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 12:26 a.m.

I like your sarcasm. We agree.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

I think UofM needs to show a little more flexibility. Unfortunately, many teachers/profs believe that sports are not part of academic life, which is sad. Everything needs a balance, and sports and academics must balance also. Students did not choose that the Sugar Bowl would conflict with the first day of classes. Football produces big time revenue for the school, which I believe has to support more than sports. Charles Woodson, among others, donates money to Motts Children's Hospital. Let's put this into perspective -- Give the students a one-day break. That will not hurt Michigan's academic standing. It will only endear the students even more to a great university, and a great time had while at the university. Put some balance in life -- there is a long winter term coming. Do not punish people for what is an essential part of our culture. I realize that a lot of people in academia will go through the roof with my comments, but they also need to appreciate that academia is not the only priority in life. Just as sports is not either. This is not something that happens every day, and for the Wolverines, it has been a while. Let's use a bit of good judgement. If the students were good enough to get into Michigan, then they can certainly be allowed this day. Diversity is not just physical, it also mental. Diversity of opinion and respecting that opinion is opart of what makes MIchigan great! Go Blue!