- Category: Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)
- Published: 05 November 2014
How often do you find yourself sitting in a classroom and thinking, "Wow this is what I woke up for?" Lectures are not always fun, or easy to remain awake through. We've all had those classes, mainly electives or graduation requirements, which feel like nothing more than a waste of time, credits, money, and most importantly, sleep. I understand the University has certain requirements a student must fulfill so that he/she is considered well-rounded enough when entering the real world- or at least that's their excuse for stocking us with unnecessary courses.
My purpose in writing this, however, is to question the theory behind attendance policies. As college students, do we truly need to attend class, or would it be possible to pass without attendance being a factor?
Back in high school, one's attendance record was significant. You either recieved perfect attendance or, on the contrary, absence letters threatening your eligibility for graduation. I was threatened to repeat my junior year due to absences, though they were mostly medically excused, and my grades were on point.
It made no sense to me that the administration wanted to keep me from graduating on time because of a tally of 17 absences. Regardless of the number of missed school days, I managed to ace all my classes. After a long battle they forgave my absences and I was able to move on with my academic life. Still, was all that stress and constant back and forth calling and paperwork necessary? I think not.
I thought once I got to college the rules would change and I would finally have the freedom to attend class as I chose. I mean I am paying for it, right? Wrong.
Every first day of class, a syllabus is handed out clarifying that after two unexcused absences, grades will be affected. Are we not too old to be told what to do? My theory is, if we made it into college, it is safe to assume we are responsible enough to know how to maintain a descent grade point average without being treated like kids. Forcing us to attend class is like holding our hands across the street: at some point you must let go.
Just because we are physically in class does not necessarily mean we are mentally. I can think of quite a few classes in which I have literally just sat through, but managed to end up with an A in the course.
I understand going to class is important during review days, when new material is presented, and exam days; I even understand that lectures are significant as well, but my concern is the attendance policy itself. If a student has the ability to teach himself the material, why is it such a big deal whether he makes it to an assigned seat twice a week?
I do admire and thank those few professors who realize that we are old enough to make our own decisions when it comes to academics and therefore do not prioritize attendance so much. When you think about it, for the most part, college students are attending college because they want to, and are paying for their education. I don't know about everyone else, but if I am paying for something, I won't let it go to waste and fail a course that is burning holes in my wallet.
Even those with academic scholarships and financial aid assistance, why would they risk losing the free money they are receiving with the condition of keeping up with descent grades? I understand what it is like to be conscience of your grades because my entire schooling is covered by a combination of Academic Scholarship, Federal Grants, and the Educational Opportunity Fund Program (EOF).
Thus, I do not play around when it comes to excelling in all my classes, but you can trust me when I say not all my classes truthfully require of my attendance.
The only reason I attend is because it is mandatory. If attendance did not matter, I would still be able to miss class and pass because I would put in the effort needed to do so.