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Rachel Platz–Staff Writer
The student handbook is updated annually. This year’s updates are in three main sections: class attendance, dress code, and Sunday observance.
Mandatory class attendance is expected of all Dordt students. However, until now, instructors had the freedom to determine the penalty for missing classes and labs. Now instructors are required to digitally report unexcused absences within 24 hours of the missed class or lab to the AEC. The AEC will reach out to the absent student and investigate the reason for their absence. After three unexcused absences in any one class, students’ grades will be dropped one letter grade. Six unexcused absences will result in automatic withdrawal from the course.
The dress code now includes a list of banned articles of clothing, including leggings, skinny jeans, and crop tops.
The worship opportunities and Sunday observance section of the student handbook has been a source of humor for many students in the past.
“It’s just not a good rule or guideline because it isn’t able to be enforced,” stated Hannah Stroken, a junior studying elementary education. “It is a good idea for all students to attend church but it shouldn’t be in the student handbook.”
But Stroken might be proven wrong in saying attendance isn’t enforceable. The Dordt staff and faculty have created a plan. Students will be required to tell their RA or CDA their select place of worship within the first month of each semester. Students will then need to turn into their RA or CDA a bulletin stamped by the pastor on a weekly basis. Students who miss more than three Sundays will be visited by their RA or CDA and given one level.
“Church attendance is something that has always been in the handbook, so this is nothing new. We just added an accountability aspect,” said Joanna Holt, a Dordt faculty member.
Holt is correct in saying that the core of the policy itself has not changed. The 2018 Dordt handbook stated: “Students are expected to worship regularly in a local church and, if confessing members, to receive the Lord’s Supper in that church.”
These changes are expected to stir up a mixed response, but Dordt administration thinks that the revisions are for the best and the new rules will result in better Christians. The 2019-20 handbook will be released at the end of summer.