I respectfully disagree with the rest of the editorial board. Mandatory class attendance is a good thing.
I quickly realized in our meeting that I was outnumbered, but I still wanted to share the opposing view.
Yes, students (or their parents) pay to go to class, so the argument that they should be able to skip as much as they want holds water.
But the lack of a policy carries a dangerous precedent. Skipping classes isn’t good; the student doesn’t get the education he or she is– or his or her parents are– paying for.
If there were no mandatory attendance, I wouldn’t show up to class much. Partially so I could sleep in sometimes, partially so I could work and partially because I can get all the information I need from the PowerPoints online.
Students need motivation to consistently attend class, especially as the long semester drags on and on. It’s easy to lose the drive to show up on time, every time.
I can confidently admit that if there were no mandatory attendance, I would not have gone to class as much, my GPA would be lower and I would not have gotten nearly as much out of my expensive education.
However, instructors should not enforce stricter attendance requirements than ACU does, though most of them do. MWF classes that will reduce a student’s grade for missing class more than twice are excessively severe. Others will still enforce different amounts, potentially creating different policies for each class a student is enrolled in. All instructors should abide by the consistent university policy. It’s less strict, which wouldn’t penalize a student for an accidental silent alarm (which has happened to me), getting sick at the worst possible times (which has happened to me) or needing to work on a project for a different class (which has also happened to me).
Mandatory attendance helped me learn more, do better in school and make good use of the thousands upon thousands my parents paid. I know there are others who may not like going to class every day, they may not think it’s all that fair for the university to enforce these rules, but they need them to do their best in school.
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