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Home Blog Dot’s Dish: The “Honor System”

By Dorothy Cook


The honor system for attendance this year is a new way of calling in sick for classes. Telling professors you’re sick and won’t be in class and the professor saying, “Coolbeans, see you next week”. Not needing a note from SLO to excuse your absence. The “honor” system. 

When I first heard about this honor system, I literally laughed out loud. I thought, ‘You mean to tell me that all I have to do is say I don’t feel good and I’ll be able to get out of class? No hoops, no proof needed, no note? Well that’s absolutely ridiculous’. Isn’t it? That’s what I thought. We’re giving college students the opportunity to skip class whenever they want and all they have to do is say, “I don’t feel good”. What’s to stop students from abusing this system? What’s to stop students from saying, “I don’t feel good”, when they have an exam or quiz or they simply don’t want to get up for their 8 a.m? Nothing! 

I was completely against this “honor” system until about 5 days ago because I didn’t like the idea of students being able to skip class and abuse the system, and frankly I wouldn’t trust students to not abuse it. However, when I was in the ER for a reason that is none of your business, my mind was completely changed. When I was on so many pain medications and other medications to help what was wrong with me, the last thing on my mind was emailing professors and asking for a doctor’s note to give to SLO the next day. 

I called SLO the next morning when I was finally able to lift my head, and told them I won’t be in class because of what had happened the night before and that I probably won’t be in class for the rest of the week. They simply said, “Ok cool, just email your teachers and let us know if you have any problems”. Uhhh, okay…. that’s different. They wouldn’t email my professors or give me an excused absence because the honor system already excused me. That’s pretty nice because I definitely forgot to ask for a doctor’s note when I was discharged at 12:30 a.m. and I couldn’t walk straight because of the meds. 

Now I have some pretty amazing professors. I’m not going to name any names but let’s just say the Education department and a director of a choir that may or may not include only women had my back. I emailed them to let them know what was going on, and I included an attractive picture of myself in the ER hooked up to an IV because I wanted to give them at least some sort of proof (yes I am showing you this picture because it is hilarious and I am confident enough in myself to let you laugh with me). 

If I hadn’t gotten a doctor’s note and we weren’t using the honor system for attendance, I probably would have had to take an unexcused absence in my classes for Tuesday through Friday. That would have made my week worse than it already was, and let me tell you it was pretty rough. I wasn’t even able to go to my classes via Zoom because of how bad I was feeling, and that was okay because of our honor system. 

I appreciate the honor system so much now because it made a very stressful week a little bit more bearable for me. I didn’t have to stress about my absences, and my professors were able to either catch me up via email or record their classes so that I could watch them when I felt well enough. It does help that I have amazing professors, but we are blessed because all of our professors at Concordia are pretty amazing. 

Our lovely nurse Andrea Baker said that, “We don’t want people going out if they don’t feel well. Our goal is to minimize the risk or the spread of whatever you have going on”. I do not agree with anyone abusing this honor system. It was put in place for students who need it. Go to class when you can and don’t hurt your education because you’re lazy or you don’t want to take that exam. Let those of us that really need the honor system use it, and don’t abuse it. That rhymes I should get that on a pillow. 

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