It’s a scene all too familiar in any given Pierce classroom when a semester begins. You show up 10 minutes early to grab that seat two rows from the door with an optimal view of the board. Yet when the door swings open the room is already packed with students.
So many students are left standing on the fringes of classes they have enrolled in and are left to sit on stools, lab counters, and sometimes, a clean spot on the floor. While we can place the blame with those who allow the campus population to bloat beyond its capacity–much like Disneyland during tourism season–the cause also lies with the students.
English, math, foreign languages and biological sciences are notorious for high enrollment rates. However, the majority if not all of the students cramming into the lecture halls for those classes want to be there or need to be there. The same cannot be said for elective courses that are more specialized.
From archaeology to sociology the number of students taking these courses for the “easy A” are more than half. What’s more is the dismissal of those who need those oddball classes in order to fulfill the requirements for their transfer degree.
It is for this reason that absent notes should be required for those who miss lectures. I have seen many good students faithfully sit in on a class for weeks hoping that by some miracle they will be added. Meanwhile the individual four seats back who has a secured spot is discussing with their cohort about how awesome their last trip to Vegas was. How did this individual keep their place in the class? Grandma was sick and the entire family was driving to see her before she passed away.
Not only is it in poor taste to use family loss as a disguise for your whirlwind vacation but it robs others of a chance to earn the credits they need. This isn’t to say that all who miss class are not actually visiting a sick family member out of state or ill themselves. But if this is the case proof of the cause should not be difficult to produce. Professional institutions in the workplace ask the same of their employees. It is not an invasion of personal privacy.
College is where we are groomed for future placement on the career track. As such we should treat our education the same we would treat our position at work. If you want to be there, be present and be ready to hand in proof of absence. If you do not want to be there then graciously step aside and let someone else have your seat.