Emergency Absences and Notifications

We understand that life does not stop for students. You may need to be absent from your courses for important reasons, and it can be stressful to navigate life while also missing class. The Office of the Dean of Students is here to support students during and after their absences. However, when you are concerned about missing class or an assignment, you should discuss this with your instructor as soon as possible. 

Student attendance responsibilities 

  • All students are expected to attend their classes and complete coursework according to the syllabus provided at the beginning of each course. 
  • If students need to miss class for non-emergency reasons, they should discuss this with their instructors as soon as possible to make the appropriate preparations. 

Students are always encouraged to review their syllabus and work directly with their instructors to request flexibility on assignments if they have missed class.  

You may request an emergency notification here 

Emergency notifications are: 

  • Are established by Academic Regulation 72 
  • The Office of the Dean of Students may send an emergency notification to instructors for students who cannot communicate directly with their instructors. This might include when a student is hospitalized, when a student’s immediate family member dies, or when a student is otherwise unable to contact their instructors directly.  
  • To protect student privacy and dignity, the reason for the absence will not be revealed in the notification. The notification is emailed directly to students, with faculty CC’d on the email. 
  • The student is responsible for communicating with faculty as soon as they can reasonably do so. 

Emergency notifications are not: 

  • an excused absence, but instead a request for faculty to be flexible on assignments and exams. Instructional requests are between the student and the instructor(s). The Office of the Dean of Students has no authority over instructional requests and does not provide letters to excuse absences. 
  • provided for absences that occurred in the past but are meant to communicate in the present moment. 

Other information about absences: 

  • Prolonged absencesIf you miss more than three weeks (approximately 20%) of the semester for any reason, it may be best to consider withdrawing from the term and returning when you can better focus on your academic goals.  

  • Excused absencesPlease consult Academic Regulation 72 for guidance on absences due to university-sponsored events, military service, disabilities, religious holidays, adverse weather, and matters involving discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct. 


  • What is an emergency notification?

    The Office of the Dean of Students sends an emergency notification to students’ instructors to alert them of an absence during an emergency. Instructors will not be informed of the reason for the absence to protect each student's privacy and dignity. Students will receive an emailed copy of the notification along with their instructors. 

  • What should I do after an emergency notification is sent?

    • An emergency notification does not excuse a student’s absence or coursework. It is up to each instructor to decide whether to excuse an absence and if alternative arrangements will be required. 

    • As soon as you are able, you are responsible for being in contact with your instructors to determine the next steps for addressing missed class time and coursework. 

  • What if I don’t qualify for an emergency notification?

    • The Office of the Dean of Students may choose not to send an emergency notification based on the information received or the timing of the information received. Instead, you may be offered other support resources.   

    • If you need to be absent from class and your situation does not qualify for an emergency notification, please request support for yourself.