The attendance policy at the University is a complete waste. There are tons of reasons why the policy should not exist. Take other schools as the first example, top schools in New Jersey like Rutgers. It does not actually have a set attendance policy; they “expect” attendance.
This may seem a little extreme but I feel as though Rutgers and other schools prosper not because of the overwhelming amount of people that attend their universities, but rather because they weed out the weak.
The students who are meant to go to school get a proper education because they are willing to go to class and prosper, while the students who want to party and not go to class fail.
If students want to work, they will work and if they do not, there is nothing anyone can do about it. No attendance policy is going to change how a student thinks. So why is it that if I got sick two days out of the semester and I overslept once, my Effective Attendance Policy is Absent grade is going to go down? Sounds a little obnoxious right? Yeah, I think so too.
What truly is a major disappointment is the fact that no matter what is going on in my life, I can only miss two lectures for a specific class. Luckily for me I am prone to sickness.
My body knows when it’s overworked, so what essentially happens is every other week I have a cough and congestion. All I truly need on those days where I feel terrible is a day off, a couple hours to relax.
Everyone knows how their own body is feeling, and when it is overworked, it reacts to that Why is it that when I do need a couple of hours to myself, I have to worry about my grade being lowered? Half the time when I do go to class in that state of mind, the professor sounds like they’re speaking in another language and are saying 200 words per second.
What grinds my gears the most about the attendance policy is the fact that it does not help your grade, it can only hurt it. Some teachers at this school, definitely not all, look to get the normal distribution curve (bell curve).
Some professors will do anything to lower your grade. I had a foreign language professor who did everything in her power to get the perfect statistical curve. I promise you I’m not lying at all; she took off one point for every accent mark you missed.
How is it that even though I get the question right, you are going to mark it wrong because of one small portion of the answer? It is a 100 level class and you’re going to treat it like a 300+ level course. That definitely makes no sense to me.
In that same class, I remember one student missed a lot of classes but he always brought in doctors notes. And yet this professor had the nerve to not only question the fact that he was sick but also question the legitimacy of his doctors’ notes.
At the end of the day, what happened was she got her bell curve, the professor emailed the final letter grades to the class and sure enough the grades were distributed just as they would be in a bell curve.
The attendance policy gives another excuse to lower my grade and yours, which is funny because in other classes the attendance policy doesn’t even matter.
There are some classes where professors take attendance but do not even look at it. In one class I missed five classes, made sure I was on the ball with my work, went to the professors’ office hours, and nothing happened to my grade (I actually got a better grade than I was supposed to).
There is a definite bias in the classroom and the attendance policy adds to it. There’s no real point in having it.
PHOTO COURTESY of Brett Bodner