Even good students skip class
December 8, 2006
I am going to put this very bluntly. As a student who has spent four and a half years on this campus, I proclaim it is not necessary for professors to have attendance policies.
When I first came to college I went to class every single day. I got up at the crack of dawn to beat the morning shower rush in Parker Hall so I could smell fresh and look pretty for my 9 a.m. classes. I was eager to learn and believed my professors were knowledgeable and respected me for pursuing higher education.
It was after I fell asleep a few times and aced a couple tests after skipping class that I started to realize not all of my professors were that knowledgeable, and it was not absolutely necessary for me to be in class every day.
I have been enrolled in a fine share of classes in which I believe I can learn more on my own by reading from the book than listening to a professor who drones on about irrelevant subjects.
I have also been enrolled in classes in which professors constantly call on students who don’t know the answers to questions and embarrass them in front of the rest of the room. “You need to practice more than the rest of the students,” one professor said to a quiet boy my class.
I have one professor this semester who constantly picks on the same people.
“Why don’t you know the answer?” “Haven’t you been doing your homework?” “You need to come to class more.”
Any professor who keeps asking their students questions like that is making students despise the course even more and discouraging them from showing up in fear that they will be embarrassed yet another time. I complete all of my homework assignments. I read and study for all of my exams, and I get better than average grades, so why does a professor have the right to take away points if I choose to sleep in my bed for a couple of hours rather than in their class?
The students who are chronically absent will most likely drop out anyway, and attendance policies aren’t going to change that. All they do is cause students to not pay attention, fall asleep and drool in class. Aren’t snoring students a bigger distraction than not having them there at all?
I understand there are certain seminar and interactive classes that rely on the attendance of the students. Those classes have the right to have attendance policies.
I also understand the school uses attendance policies to regulate some scholarships and financial aid, but the way I see it, the students who do receive these scholarships most likely aren’t going to throw them away by performing poorly. Lack of attendance doesn’t mean lack of education.
Most of us pay for our education with some type of school loans and have gotten ourselves into extreme debt in order to become knowledgeable and active members of society. If we want an early weekend or want to get our errands done during our boring class so we can work on a paper later that night, we should have the right.
Rebecca De Neui is a student at UW-River Falls.