Con: Taking attendance in college

Taking attendance is unnecessary at the college level and, if it counted for a portion of a class’s grade, students could suffer unfairly.

As students, we’ve had our names called for attendance since pre-school. This is done so that our parents are held accountable for making sure we get educated, as required by the California compulsory education law.

However, once students reach higher education, there is no need for professors to waste class time by taking attendance.

Pierce professors take attendance the first couple of weeks of the semester for an official count, or census. It takes a lot of time out of the lecture. There are so many people in each class, that it drags on to hear the professor call out 25 different names. Not only are the instructors calling out these names, but they’re spending a lot of time mispronouncing the name and then learning how it’s actually pronounced.

Additionally, once a student enters college, it is expected that he or she will take responsibility for his or her own work. It’s safe to say that a student at this level understands how much missing a class and the materials presented in lectures can affect one’s ability to keep up. Students who miss a few days of lecture are aware that they are missing information that could help them succeed, but they still choose to miss class for whatever reason. And, as adults, we are allowed to make that choice.

When a student is sick or has an emergency, the last thing they want to worry about is the points they are going to lose as a direct result of their absence.

It would undermine the student’s ability to make his or her own choices if attendance is taken in college classes and weighed in toward the grade.

Some students have a natural tendency to understand a lecture or grasp a concept quickly. If I understand what my biology professor is lecturing about and I have my $200 textbook at home, I should be able to skip some days and not have my grade directly suffer.

As students, we know our own abilities and limitations. We don’t need babysitters.