Friday, January 20, 2023

No Quarter Shall Be Given

Letter from Dean Lloyd Neidlinger to students on probation for excessive absencesOn a snowy Friday in January, it seems only reasonable for students to think about skipping class and instead either wandering in a winter wonderland or curling up in bed with a good book and a hot cup of tea. The allowance of a certain number of absences from the lecture hall or discussion sections seems like a humane way to give students a break from the rigors of academia. However, that leniency can only be taken so far. For a select group of Dartmouth students who crossed the line back in the 1940s and were suspended from the College, there was no hope of another skip day for the rest of their college career.

In this letter, written to "Men Suspended for Unsatisfactory Attendance," College Dean Lloyd Neidlinger makes it crystal clear that even though these men may have been readmitted on a probationary status, their suffering will not end when their probation has concluded. Instead, if they receive even one unexcused absence from class for the remainder of their undergraduate experience, Dean Neidlinger says that they will be "permanently subject to immediate separation" from the college. It's unclear how many absences it took for the Dean to take a scorched earth approach, but it sounds like these "Men" must have been legends among their classmates.

To see more of the history of class absences, sneak over to Rauner and ask for the vertical file on "Absences and Excuses."