Opinions

Professor’s Power Over Attendance

April 6th, 2018

In the past I have discussed the controversy on laptops in class and how a professor should either be unable to prohibit them or should have to change their teaching methods to ensure notes are accurate and well taken (add hyperlink to previous article). But what about the other extent of their powers? Attendance should not play a significant factor in your class grades, as we are the ones paying and we have the autonomy to decide our own time management.

Too often, professors have put significant weight on students to attend class by making it a substantial part of their grade, even though we are the ones paying to be here. I understand that a grade reflects on a professor, be it good or bad, but that shouldn’t matter. That is an issue with how professors are evaluated and should not fall onto the student.

I am not advocating for students to skip class, but I am advocating for that decision to be up to the student. If I want to use my time, which would be otherwise spent sitting in a lecture, to work on an assignment, pick up a shift at work, or to simply have a ‘me’ day, then I should have that right. It then falls onto me to catch up with what I missed and not fall behind, because if I fail, that’s my fault.

This does mean that a professor is not required to assist that student in catching up because they have already taught the lesson once. It’s not fair to make them do extra work because I very well could just have been lazy.

Essentially, we are the ones paying for school and if our attendance does not affect other students as laptops can, we should be able to show up whenever we want. Failure is on us.

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