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Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. announced Wednesday, April 24, via his Facebook page, that the school’s administration, along with the Student Government Association, had chosen to revise its attendance policy, effective immediately.
The change gives students four unexcused absences in classes that meet three times per week and three unexcused absences for classes meeting two times per week. The policy for classes meeting once a week will stay the same.
“The policy that we had was a little too strict, so I’m glad I was able to make the change and help the students out a little bit before the end of the year,” Falwell said.
According to Liberty Senior Class President Chad Atchison, the Student Government Association had been attempting to change the policy since it went into effect more than two years ago, and talks intensified when Falwell decided to review the policy in detail earlier in the spring 2013 semester.
“It’s sort of my end of the year gift to the students,” Falwell said.
According to Falwell, the change was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from students, especially those who had already exceeded their unexcused absences in certain classes.
“Between my two Facebook pages, I’ve gotten over 500 likes (on the announcement),” Falwell said. “I think it’s something that was badly needed.”
The Student Government Association originally proposed a system in which students with higher grade point averages would be allowed more unexcused absences, Atchison said, but they were happy with the compromise.
Although some students, such as sophomore Jesse Pearson, preferred solutions like a system that allows students to attend class whenever they want or that allows Liberty professors to set their own attendance policies, Atchison said that the students’ concerns are always at the forefront of the discussion.
“There’s always going to be structure, because the administration does care about providing students the education that they’re paying for,” Atchison said.