Originally Posted by wigflip
I think what folks have said above about departmental culture or institutional culture is crucial. (I've never been instructor of record, but as TAs we design and implement our own weekly classroom curriculum). UG students at my institution (and particularly in my department) expect, demand, and get extensions and makeups. Most of the profs let TAs know (in a number of subtle ways) that they want to be shielded from UG hassles and complaints, and many of the other TAs are lenient, so you look like a jerk in comparison if you try to implement firm standards. One term, a full 20-25% of my students had extensions at one time or another.
Times sure have changed. I recall being at a big state university for my undergrad, and I would have never dreamed of requesting an extension for anything. You were there to work and earn the grade you got...
Is your institution a state school? I thought perhaps they stuck to their guns a little more at bigger, non-private universities