After I wrote a post last week about unexcused absences someone wondered in the comments about when the practice died out. I really didn’t have any idea so I started poking around. In all honesty I still don’t know–but I’m getting closer.
I found these in a box of old materials from the registrar’s office, all from the 1950s. This first one, dated 1953, retains the no-nonsense tone of the notice from 1914 but there isn’t any mention of owing a fine for missing class:
I thought at first that meant the business of having to pay for unexcused absences had ended by 1953 but it turns out that I was very wrong. I was a bit surprised when I pulled these two 1958 policies out of the folder:
That’s pretty rough: a $5 fine for missing class right before or after a break with mandatory reporting. (My favorite line in all of this is “Of course, a particular student may be charged for both.” Why, of course! Obviously!) I’m of two minds about this. On one hand it suggests a profound seriousness about the enterprise. On the other hand, I think it’s generally a good idea to temper justice with mercy. Just in case you need it yourself.
I’ll keep looking.
Bonus: For reasons that are and shall remain entirely unclear, both these documents are addressed to Floyd Lear of the history department, about whom we’ve talked so much.
Extra Bonus: I had my first meeting ever in the NROTC building yesterday. A few questions later and I found myself in a room full of the old wooden rifles that we thought had long ago disappeared.