Almost three years ago, a student came to a Towson University SGA Meeting with an academic concern.
This student, who had went home to the New England region to morn the loss of his Grandmother, was told by multiple professors that he had missed too much academic coursework to make up and that he was better off withdrawing from the class. This would result in him losing thousands of out of state tuition costs.
I sat behind him as he testified in front of those SGA Senators, one of them being Kevin Kutner (current SGA President), and was suddenly angered that a fellow Towson University student was treated this way. Kevin and I walked away from that meeting motivated to fix this issue.
Fast forward to late February, 2014, and the University President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Vice President for Student Affairs joined several student leaders of the SGA as they signed into action the Towson University Student Bereavement Procedure that, as of August 1st, 2014, is available for the more than 21,000 students at Towson University.
This procedure gives students a certain amount of academic and travel days off to morn, grieve, and celebrate the lives of family members without academic penalty.
Towson University is the first institution within the University System of Maryland to offer this procedure and I would like to think it will have a huge impact on the lives of many students. My hope and aspiration is to work with statewide leaders to offer this at every public institution.
But until that day, I would like to thank the numerous individuals that took Kevin and I's initiative and made it come to fruition!