Policy must change to empower instructors

Dear Editor,

This is in response to the Dec. 8 issue’s article on the new attendance policy and the response from Sean Dressman in the Jan. 12 issue. I am a junior at Northern Kentucky University. As a recent transfer student, I am appalled by the lack of power instructors at NKU have; at my previous university, a student would no more challenge an instructor’s decision (be it in-class or potential, policy-wise) than bring a gun on campus (which, I know from personal experience, was an issue last semester).

The attendance policy at NKU needs the change. As I see it, students who don’t have the decency to show up on the first day of class are forfeiting any rights they have to make the argument for staying in the class.

We all have emergencies, but extenuating circumstances aside, the first day of class is the most important; besides receiving the syllabus and hearing the class details, a student is given the opportunity to decide whether he or she really wants the class. When dropped in a timely manner, another student, one who actually needs the course, can pick up the class.

While we, the students, are “paying to be here,” it is the instructors and staff who give their time to show up regularly and teach. Teaching is not one of the better-paying fields, and many of the instructors are in their position because they are driven by the desire to connect with and inform students. They do not deserve to be belittled by students who think they have the right to come to class only three or four times a semester. Not only is that behavior disrespectful to instructors, it is disrespectful to the other students – students who work hard to come to class and to have their assignments promptly turned in.

For most of the students at NKU, it is our “career” at this stage in life to be a student – to come to class, to learn. When that takes a backseat to miscreant behavior, (bullying teachers during class, acting distractingly to other students), there is a problem. Teachers have to add a caveat to their syllabi noting their right to correct disruptive behavior; that right should exist without mention.

Kyllikki Brock, Junior, English ‘ French