Doctors notes shouldn’t be required especially in the wake of allergy season


Giselle Barajas

With spring in the air, it’s finally time to wear shorts and flip flops and ditch that big ugly winter coat you’ve been lugging around for months. It’s that time of year when we all get spring fever and take in the beautiful nature that it brings. However, for most of us with spring fever may come an actual fever. With the changing of seasons comes the prime time for sickness and germs to spread and allergies to flourish.

When you’ve caught a common illness such as a cold or fever, we all know our bodies well enough to just take some tylenol or advil and rest up for recovery. It’s unnecessary to leave your room just to get a diagnosis and doctors note for a common illness. Having to leave your room and expose others to your possibly contagious illness is a waste of time, and frankly, is too costly.

While some professors trust their students when they email them that they’re missing class due to illness, we’ve all had those professors who accept no excuses without a doctors note. Frankly, they’re in the wrong.

Although, students on this campus are required to have health insurance, some students still can’t afford copayment costs for a silly doctors note. Additionally, it’s much more effective for students to just rest and take antibiotics than to leave their rooms exposing their peers to their illness, and tiring themselves out.

It’s also unjust to require students to provide a doctor’s note when there isn’t even a medical center on campus. Most colleges have a free medical center for students to utilize and receive doctors notes for their illnesses, Augustana doesn’t provide this service. So, until there’s a free medical center for students, forcing students to go off campus and pay for care is by no means ethical.

Now, usually the professors reasoning to require doctors notes is to ensure students don’t lie just to miss class. While in all honesty there are students who would lie, there are also student’s who wouldn’t. Nevertheless, college students are adults, so if a student misses class because they lied about being sick, then just let them be; those who would be honest shouldn’t be penalized just because there are some students who don’t take their education seriously enough.

Treating students like children because you can’t truly know if they would lie about being sick or not is useless. In the real world, most jobs don’t force you to provide a doctor’s note for an illness unless you’re absent for a long period of time, so students should be given the same benefit. Besides, professors are allowed to cancel class whenever they please due to illness or even personal reasons without any penalty, so why are students held to a different standard?

Generally speaking, unjustly requiring doctors notes from students leads many students to just power through classes while still sick, which in turn increases the chances of their peers also getting sick in an endless cycle of spreading illness. So, to decrease the chances of illnesses spreading on campus, and to ensure a better recovery for students who are sick, just let students miss a day of class it’s not that serious.

Graphic by Cora Lamb.