Athletics & Extra-Curricular Activities

Responsibilities of the Student

Students have the following responsibilities:

  1. Making commitments that can be honored. Both in terms of which courses they choose and in making commitments to teams and other extracurricular groups, students must make sure that they do not extend themselves beyond their ability to deliver on their commitments. When an unresolvable conflict exists between the needs of a student's academic program and the opportunity to participate in an extracurricular activity, the student's academic needs must be considered first. Students signing up for sports teams and other extracurricular activities should take the time to learn about what is expected of those who participate in these activities. Certainly, no student should sign up for a team, for example, which practices at a time that regularly conflicts with the student's course schedule.
  2. Communication. When a student has undertaken commitments that do not impose unreasonable conflicts, the student must ensure that all parties are kept informed of conflicts that exist and how these will be resolved. While coaches and the Athletics Director, for example, have a specific role in communication directly with faculty, the student holds the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that his/her instructor receives adequate, timely notification of athletic contest schedules, etc. Similarly, when students must miss scheduled extracurricular events such as athletic practices and competitions because of class responsibilities, it is only fair that they give ample notice to the coaches or other individuals who have responsibility for organizing the event.
  3. Getting the work done. While the policy guidelines that follow detail circumstances under which students may be excused from class attendance or be given the opportunity to make up class responsibilities, it must be stated that none of these guidelines are intended to relieve students of the responsibility for completing the academic work of their courses. Whether through attending make up laboratory sections, audio taping lectures, borrowing class notes from students, interviewing those who attended, or any other appropriate procedure, the student must do whatever it takes to ensure that participating in extracurricular activities does not interfere with the attainment of course learning objectives. Finally, students should not assume that faculty will grant them incomplete grades because of their involvement in extracurricular activities.

Responsibility of Athletics Department

The Athletics Department is strongly encouraged to schedule as many competitions as possible on weekends. No sport should hold more than two week day competitions within the same week that University is in session. The only expectation permissible would be the rescheduling of a cancelled contest, when not rescheduling the particular contest would result in the team's failure to complete the minimum of competitions required to qualify for post-season tournaments.

Responsibility of Coaches and Others Organizing Extra- and Co-Curricular Activities

Prior to the start of each intercollegiate sports season, each Castleton University coach, or the Athletics Director on behalf of all coaches, will send the faculty of student athletes information regarding competition schedules for the season. Changes to these schedules should also be communicated. Information sent to faculty should include the estimated time of departure for competition. Similarly, faculty and others in leadership roles regarding field trips and activities which might justify excusing a student from a class obligation shall provide timely official notice to affected faculty. Coaches and organizers of other extracurricular activities must keep the educational commitments of their students foremost in their minds and offer appropriate encouragement and support to students to realize their academic potential. 

Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty are required to make accommodations for one category of students activities, namely, student athletes as well as those participating in certain other extracurricular activities identified below. They have the option of making accommodations for yet a second category of student activity participants; and they are expressly discouraged from making other accommodations.

  1. Varsity contests, concerts and plays, and certain governance roles. The University officially recognizes three categories of student activities as deserving of special accommodation: varsity athletic competitions, performances officially sponsored by the Music and Theatre Arts Departments, and representation of the University at meetings of the Board of Trustees, Board Committee meetings and meeting of the Vermont State Colleges' Student Association. For these three types of events faculty are required to permit students to miss class and are required to waive, postpone, or agree to schedule makeup opportunities for students who would otherwise have been obliged to take a test or present an in-class project or assignment. This obligation for "no fault" excuses, however, extends to no more than 10% of the scheduled class meetings. The only exception made to this policy pertains to district, regional, and national varsity athletic competitions. Even students who have already taken excused absences equivalent to 10% of their class shall not be penalized for missing assignment and test due dates for participating in post-season competition.
  2. Co-curricular and Faculty - sponsored field trips. Often in the course of the year, either related to specific courses that are being taught or growing out of departmental or club activities, field trips are organized that can be very educationally beneficial to students. These include, for example, trips to New York City to visit art museums, a visit to the United Nations organized by the faculty who advise the Political Discussion Group, occasional trips to the Christian Science Monitor in Boston, etc. Faculty are not obliged to grant students excused absences from class to participate in these field trips but are strongly encouraged to do so as long as students can reasonably be expected to keep up with the academic requirements of the course. Similarly, while faculty are not required to reschedule evaluations and other class assignments, they are encouraged to do so in these cases. 
  3. Rehearsals, athletic practices, club activities. No students are guaranteed excused absences for attending athletic practices, play or concert rehearsals or for participating in club activities, including club sports. In such cases, the students may request to be absent from class without penalty. The instructor may use his or her own judgment as to whether to grant such permission. Instructors are expressly discouraged from rescheduling course evaluation procedures and/or deferring class-related presentations, etc, in these cases. Finally, faculty must inform students when the use of excused absences is, in the judgment of the faculty, beginning to jeopardize learning.