Attending the issue of attendance

Ah yes, college; a product that many people have purchased, in hopes to one day receive a paper that will give them access to better employment, better finances and, most importantly, more fulfilling lives.

Whether it be SC4, SVSU, GVSU or any other conglomeration of numbers and codes, it is certain that either through one’s own pocket or through loans and hard-earned grants that the general student body is paying a lot to attend and have the chance of higher education (and that’s not even factoring in books).

That being said, most students have come in contact with a certain problem that can be heard about on an almost daily basis: teacher enforced attendance policy.

Now, let’s look at the pros. It’s understandable that attendance should be taken for financial aid purposes. No argument there. If a student taking any federal aid enrolls in a class and purposely misses 80 percent, it would make sense to cut it. That should make sense to most, but looking deeper within that policy lies the problem; should a student ever have his or her grade be dependent on their attendance?

Let’s face it, there are days when some may not be able to attend a class due to illness, tragedy or just a plain bad day. Sticking to the concept that the student is paying to be in school, should their grade really be deduced due to their absence for whatever reason? In the model of “consumer-product,” it makes no sense.

College students are adults for the most part. Is it proper for instructors to really be grading students like children in elementary through high school, and scolding them as such? If someone chooses to be absent in a college class that they’re paying for, that’s their choice, be it necessary or not. Mark them as absent for federal paperwork, but marking down their grade because an instructor needs more grades in their book is a little ridiculous, considering stats have shown the average age of student at SC4 to be in their early to mid-twenties.

It comes down to this: students are consumers purchasing a product that gives them a better salary someday. Through unholy loans and other means they pay the salary of the instructor of said product. That being said, shouldn’t there be a little more mutual respect?

Kristopher Reynolds

Staff Writer

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