Staff Editorial

Paying students shouldn’t be kicked out of class over attendance

Every semester students are subjected to the same spiel on the first day of class about everything from plagiarism to attendance policies. While the former requires strict adherence, the latter has become, for the most part, a formality that by now has almost lost all meaning because teachers and students understand how attendance can affect one’s grade.

Not allowing make-up assignments or refusing to accept late work due to absences is one thing, but a teacher dropping a student for excessive absences is another. Doing so on the first day of a full class makes sense since there is almost always a list of people willing to take that person’s spot in the class. But when it comes to dropping a student almost two months into the semester, one has to wonder where the real motive lies.

Dropping students on scholarship or those who receive federal funding for their education and fail to adhere to the attendance policies is completely understandable — after all, they are wasting someone else’s money. But removing students who are paying their own way through school makes little sense.

The professors are under no obligation to allow students to make up any missed work, so if the absences are that detrimental, it should reflect in the final grade. Some professors are proactive with their approach, tying in attendance to participation grades or the final grade itself. Others base their tests and assignments almost solely on material covered in class or lectures, thus making attendance more important.

Ultimately, if students pay for a class that they miss on a regular basis, why should the teacher be allowed to determine whether or not those students are entitled to earn their final grade.

It seems to come down to a power trip. Some teachers want to control their class so much that their students’ understanding of the material takes a back seat to following orders.

College is not high school where teachers are charged with molding their students’ work ethic and developing good habits. College students are adults and should be allowed to suffer their own fate in regards to their grade, not bowing to an archaic requirement that can easily be replaced by a more creative way to ensure attendance.

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