Michigan State University's Independent Voice Since 1909, East Lansing, MI

State News Logo

Friday, August 22, 2014 | Last updated: 10:35am


  • Facebook Logo
  • Twitter Logo
  • RSS Feed Logo
  • Email Signup Logo



Attendance policies shouldn't be necessary






“You have seven allowed skip days,” my professor chuckled the first day of ISP 205.

“After that, the attendance portion of your grade will be affected.”

Wait, what?

The questionable system of attendance policy troubles me. There are many things I’d consider before missing more than seven classes.

First, forcing me to attend a required science, or ISP course, actually makes me want to attend less.
But for the occasional skipper, strict attendance policies really could put a damper on old habits.

Unlike high school, (which was really just a precursor to 10 times the amount of work you’d be doing in college), attending a Big Ten university isn’t always taken as seriously as it should be.
As a sophomore in college, I’m already beginning to worry if I’ll be able to find a job in my career field. What does it really take to get me where I need to go?

Showing up to class should be the most obvious way to get a good grade and in turn, an almost $100,000 piece of paper — my diploma. But as I’ve noticed lately, my full schedule is getting in the way of my sleep. And I need my sleep. So naturally, I’m bound to miss a few classes here and there.

Considerably similar in the real world, you’re going to have to put your big girl pants on and get to work, even if you didn’t brush your teeth that morning or remember to put on deodorant. If you can’t even make it to a 50-minute lecture, how the heck are you going to get up for a real world job?

I might be a little hypocritical here because I tend to skip my science and social studies sessions, but that’s because they bore me to death. I do and always will be excited to wake up for classes that actually deal with my major and my future occupation.

In reality, it’s your choice if you want to skip. If you want to miss and lose out on attendance points, that’s your roughly $430-a credit hour tuition going down the drain. But for Pete’s sake, attend lectures having to do with your major. Why else are you here?

Getting by on only sitting through the first and last day of lecture might not suffice. It might be cutting it a little too close, especially if you only attend two statistics and probability recitations (math has never been my forte).

In classes that are too large to record attendance manually, iClickers are required to see if you actually go. This idea seems a bit elementary to me. Is my professor going to track where I go for dinner, too? It isn’t a professor’s responsibility to get me to class every day through strict attendance policies, although they should work to keep students interested enough that they actually want to show up.

Additionally, rewarding students who click in responses for extra credit doesn’t conduct what a real-life occupation would be like at all. If I’m on time for work, I’m on time. I don’t get a cookie or bonus cash for doing what I’m supposed to be doing in the first place. If I don’t show up, I’ll get fired.

People who skip valuable classes should know that they’re probably going to skip out on their future. That is, unless they are so smart they don’t need to attend lecture and can get 4.0 grades by reading PowerPoints online and acing a few class-determining exams. This doesn’t work for me, and probably doesn’t work for most people.

Ultimately, it all comes down to responsibility. By this time in my life, I should know what it takes to get the grades I desire and how much effort I have to put into carrying out a daily 15-credit schedule while balancing a job. It’s mutual for those students who choose to regularly skip class. Attendance policies shouldn’t be necessary. There are plenty of reasons you should want to show up to class.

It should be left up to the individual to choose what path they’d like to take — whether it be to success or failure.

Cayden Royce is a State News staff reporter. Reach her at croyce@statenews.com.


Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The State News.