OPINION: Attendance should not be mandatory

Graphic by Kelsey Jackson.

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  If an individual is paying for an item, they should be able to use it how they would like to and as frequently as they would like; however, this is not the case here at Dixie State University.

  There are currently classes offered at DSU where attendance is part of the cumulative grade. Professors should not be able to require attendance as an aspect of the grading process. Because college students pay large amounts of money, professors should not be able to require attendance as part of their grading system.

  When people turn 18, they are considered adults who can drive, vote and even register for the military draft; however, these same people cannot miss a college lecture without having their grades impacted by it. This seems extremely selective in which activities we do and do not allow 18-year-olds to do.

  Most students have time conflicts with their class schedules. If attendance was not mandatory in these classes, it would allow for greater flexibility in scheduling and working with other needs life brings.

  It is argued that attendance should be required because the government and scholarships are being provided for students to attend a university and earn a degree; however, this would still be monitored by the midterms and final grades students receive in their classes. Learning and understanding the course information does not require individuals to attend every single lecture.

  With the technology that is available for students and professors today, there are multiple ways individuals can still learn information without attending lectures. Professors are able to post their PowerPoint slides from their lectures on the Canvas website, where students can listen and re-listen to lectures given throughout the semester.

  If professors wouldn’t require attendance as part of an overall grade, this would help young adults develop their decision making, studying and overall skills. Students must decide for themselves if they feel studying the material is most important as opposed to other activities they may want to do.

  A professor wrote about the different reasons why he no longer chose to take attendance into account. One of the main reasons is attendance also requires a lot of time at the beginning of the lecture where both students and professors could be using their time more effectively and efficiently. As professors read through the 30 plus names in most classes, wait for individuals to respond, and make the right marks on the paper, this potentially takes up five to ten minutes of a lecture that only lasts 50 minutes.

  As individuals enter their college years, they are expected to learn, grow and develop skills they can take into the workforce to contribute to society. In some classes at DSU, these same students have their hands held as professors make sure they are in the right class at the right time; therefore, attendance should not be mandatory at the college level.

  Students can push to require professors to not include attendance in the grading process by registering for future classes with professors who do not require attendance. On RateMyProfessors.com, most of the professors have comments made about their attendance requirements from previous students. Doing this would cause professors and the administration to investigate why some professors’ classes are not as full as others.