Students shouldn’t fail for absences

Andy Thigpen Life Editor

It’s 8:13 on a cold November morning and all you can think about is how warm your bed felt before you catapulted yourself out of it in a vain effort to get to class on time. Teeth unbrushed. Unshowered. Unshaved. Unconscious.

It’s a miracle you’re wearing pants.

While you sit uncomfortably blank, picking sleep out of your eyes or smoothing down your bed head, there’s that guy lecturing you about-wait, what the hell is he talking about? “Why am I here?” you may ask yourself.

You’re there because you’ve missed too many classes. One more and you fail.

Which brings me to the topic of the week: attendance policies.

Personally, I stay pretty busy. There’s always something I could be working on/reading/writing/editing/etc. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, especially during the school year, it’s wasting time. Yet here I sit in class for an hour while the professor stumbles over words, tinkers with the state-of-the-art educational equipment in our various classrooms, rambles on about something that could have been said in 10 minutes or, my personal favorite, reads out of the book we already bought.

I’m not getting at the idea that we, as students, should skip class all the time. However, should we really fail a class because we missed too many days? Why should we even have points taken off? I paid for this course. If I want to show up and learn and get my money’s worth, I will.

Enter here the old argument: Our professors have already cashed their checks. Regardless of our attendance, our educators get paid. So why do they even care? I honestly want to know.

I’m not asking for allowance to be a “bad student,” because, honestly, I go to class because I usually like to. I’m curious and interested and a nerd. But sometimes I just really don’t want to go sit in a stuffy room and fake it when I could sleep in or-Lord, help us-get ahead on my work.

Before graduating high school, someone said to me about college and life, “Ninety percent of life is showing up. If you show up, things will happen.”

He was very right. We, as students, should have the maturity and intellect to show up to class, participate and earn the education that we want. But I want it to be my choice. I want to cultivate my own maturity. I want to succeed or fail based off my own performance, not because I missed too many lectures.

So, to professors: don’t fail or pass us because of attendance. Let us do it ourselves.

To students: responsibility.

Or, hey, let’s keep it like it is and get a few bucks back every time a professor misses or shows up late. After all, we paid for it.


Well, it was worth a shot.