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Attendance should not be graded

By Dan Fill

Hello, is this a university or a babysitting institution?

Why do professors care whether students attend classes or not? Will it damage their fragile egos to learn that their teaching style is so excruciatingly unstimulating students would rather just do the readings? Do they feel threatened by the fact that their evaluation process is so lousy that a student who doesn’t attend a single lecture can still manage to pull an A?

Class attendance is not mandatory at Ryerson. The handbook states that “regular attendance at classes, seminars and laboratory periods is expected of all students…”

Regular attendance. Yet every year students get stuck with instructors who attach marks to whether they attend class or not. Why? How can attendance in class possibly reflect my understanding of course material? Do you think that historical intellectual thinkers were given marks for attendance?

“Well, Mr. Einstein, that is fascinating, but since you were absent three times for the Geography of Scat course, I can only give you a C+.”

I see no reason why we should be benefitted with brownie marks for showing up, or punished for non-attendance. We, as students, are paying to come to school. Professors and instructors are employed by us. If we pay for a class and do not attend, then that should be our prerogative.

It’s obvious some classes requiring group work should be mandatory so that the whole group is not inconvenienced, but when it is a Liberal Arts or English class, that solely affects the individual.

The job of an educator is to teach the class, not to account for the whereabouts of students. If I wanted a babysitter, I would find one that charged less than $2800.

Dan Fill is a third-year student in Radio and Television Arts and is currently seeking work in the lucrative field of babysitting.

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