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Bereavement Policy for Students

Rationale

Stevenson University is a close-knit, caring community committed to student success. In the event that a student experiences the death of a loved one during the course of an academic term, the student may request to utilize the  Bereavement Policy for Students. Stevenson recognizes the impact that a loss may have on the emotional and academic well-being of a student and wishes to support the student during this stressful time. Stevenson also understands that grief impacts every student differently and, therefore, this policy is not an attempt to quantify the impact of the death of a loved one or in any way address the nature of the grief process. Rather, the purpose of this policy is to provide a formal process to allow grieving students the time to attend the bereavement services, as well as the opportunity to be available for their families during times of death and grief.

Policy

Under this policy, a student will be excused from class for funeral leave, subsequent bereavement, and/or travel considerations. A student is entitled up to five (5) consecutive academic days of bereavement to mourn a death in the immediate family as defined below. For a death outside the immediate family as defined below, a student is entitled up to two (2) consecutive academic days of bereavement. While this policy excuses a student from class attendance, the student remains responsible for all material covered in class and must work with each individual professor upon return to complete any required work.

The immediate family includes:

  • Parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
  • Siblings
  • Spouse or partner
  • Children
  • Other relatives living as members of the student’s household

Relationships outside the immediate family include, may include, but are not limited to:

  • Grandparents
  • Aunts or uncles
  • Cousins
  • Nieces or nephews
  • In-laws

Disclaimer: The University reserves the right to review specific situations to determine if exceptions to the established bereavement policy are warranted.

Scope of Applicability

This policy is applicable to all full- and part-time undergraduate students.

Travel Days

In addition to the aforementioned excused academic days, students may be granted up to three (3) additional calendar days to account for travel considerations. This is to be determined by the distance of the verified funeral services from Stevenson University’s Owings Mills campus as follows:

  • Within 150 miles of Stevenson University: 0 calendar days for travel
  • Between 150 - 300 miles from Stevenson University: 1 calendar day for travel
  • Over 300 miles from Stevenson University: 2 calendar days for travel
  • Verified travel outside of North America: 3 calendar days for travel

(these days will be approved based upon a documented travel itinerary)

Process and Notification

The student or a representative (family member, room/suitemate, on-campus faculty/staff) must notify the Director, Student Support prior to the start of the bereavement leave. The Director, Student Support will notify the necessary and appropriate on-campus offices (faculty, success coach/academic advisor, athletic coaches, Residence Life) of a student’s bereavement leave and anticipated return date. The student is required to provide appropriate documentation to the Director of Student Support in the Office of Student Success. Upon return to the institution, it is the responsibility of the student to communicate with their instructors about any missed assignments and arrange to complete missed work. In keeping with this policy, instructors shall excuse the student from class according to this policy and provide an opportunity for the student to complete missed quizzes, exams, papers, other required work and/or alternative assignments. Students who have followed this policy should not incur academic penalties.

Documentation

Any student who wishes to utilize this policy is required to provide documentation to the Director of Student Support in the Office of Student Success. Acceptable documents may include: a funeral program, obituary, signed letter from funeral home, or death certificate. Failure to provide documentation will result in the absences being considered unexcused.

Appeal

If an instructor fails to follow this policy, the student may appeal the instructor's decision in writing to the Assistant Vice President of Student Success.

Counseling Services

Stevenson University’s Wellness Center is available to assist students and provide counseling services if so desired by the student.

(Approved April 2019)

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