Despite recent controversy surrounding an attendance policy that prevented a volleyball player from fully participating in the national championship, East Central College President Jon Bauer said he supports that policy.

Freshman Hannah Leslie, 19, had an excuse note from the athletic director to play in the national championship games last week. However, her biology instructor, Dr. Parvadha Govindaswamy, refused to honor the absence as excused.

Govindaswamy apparently told Leslie, who had already missed three classes to play with her team, if she missed one more class she would have to repeat the course.

According to the ECC attendance policy, “A student cannot exceed the absences permitted under a more restrictive and specific course attendance policy.”

Protesters gathered at the entrance to the college Tuesday, Nov. 19, objecting to the attendance policy enforced by the biology professor. In response, Bauer sent an email to faculty and staff supporting the professor’s right to enforce her own attendance policy.

“First and foremost, East Central is an academic institution,” Bauer wrote. “Our policies regarding attendance and other academic matters are in place so that students can be successful and that their education has rigor and meaning. That should never be compromised.”

The college did reach a compromise of sorts, transporting Leslie to the tournament in Ohio after class on Wednesday and bringing her back after Thursday’s game.

Leslie is attending ECC on a full-ride athletic scholarship for volleyball.