Published on November 2nd, 2012 | by Jake Dalli1
Law Students Irked by New Policy Regarding Class Absence
Law students are outraged at the introduction of a new absence policy by their faculty, which dictates that students have to submit a form explaining their absence for every lecture they miss.
In an e-mail circulated last week, Professor Kevin Aquilina [Dean of the Faculty of Laws] notified students of the appointment of an ‘Attendance Disciplinary Board’ which shall treat class absence in the case of unjustified reasons.
“Last year the Faculty Board of Laws appointed an Attendance Disciplinary Board composed of the Dean, Deputy Dean and all Heads of Department to hear disciplinary cases where students fail to attend class for any unjustified reason,” the e-mail said.
Students who are absent or planning to be absent from a lecture are now required submit a medical certificate and a leave of absence form to the faculty office for every single lecture missed.
The e-mail also specified that if a student is found guilty of being absent without justifiable reason, an ‘F’ grade will be awarded for the study-unit concerned – hence, students will have to repeat assessment.
Meanwhile, law students from various years have taken to the internet in order to vent their frustration. Speaking to InsiterOnline, students commented:
“I think at university level students should be encouraged to go to lectures, rather than feel obliged to. Overall I don’t agree with the new system, but at the same time one cannot abuse of the situation either, so if one doesn’t attend for a long stretch then yes action should be taken, but asking for a medical certificate if you miss one day or neo lecture is just going to cause more problems, and rather than encouraging students to go to lectures to enjoy and learn about their subject, it’s just creating a system where one attends lectures just to remain in the course.” argued Jacques Grima, a second year law student.
“Everyone thinks it’s ridiculous,” said another second year law student, who wished to remain anonymous.
When contacted, a clerk from the Faculty of Laws said that the measure was issued on the Dean’s instructions, and that the leave of absence form was simply to replace letters which in that past were submitted to the office in cases of absence.
He also clarified that the faculty has always taken disciplinary action, however not necessarily to this extent.
InsiterOnline is currently awaiting comments from Prof Aquilina, the Law Students’ Association [Ghsl] and the European Law Students’ Association [ELSA].