Attendance policy is too strict

When you think of college, the usual thought is going to class whenever you want, sleeping in and doing your own thing. This is because college is supposed to be a time when students grow up, make their own decisions and are in charge of themselves. The college experience is supposed to be a time where we, as young adults, learn to juggle all the decisions we are to make in a day and grow up because of that.

However, every class I have had at California Lutheran University has employed a strict attendance policy in which more than three missed classes could result in a drop of a full letter grade. This strict policy makes class feel more like high school than college. In college, we should be trusted to make our own choices whether good or bad.

According to CLU’s faculty policies, instructors will establish their own attendance policies for each course. It is shown that professors will determine their own policies per class, yet my classes have been strict on attending class. If students believe they can do well in class by only showing up on test days, that should be their decision to make.

“I think each student should be given the trust to know whether or not being in class is absolutely necessary for their learning. Given this knowledge, professors would not be responsible for the failure of students due to their lack of attendance,” said junior Chantel Stabile.

Stabile said professors should give students more freedom like college is designed to do and allow students to determine whether they want to go to class on their own.

“At SDSU, the teachers have too many students in each class they don’t stress attendance, the responsibility is on the student to do the work to do well,” said Kyle Reynolds, a sophomore at San Diego State University.

Grand Canyon University is a smaller private Christian university with only a slightly larger student body than CLU, yet its school policy handbook has no mention of an attendance policy. Colby Crenshaw, a sophomore at GCU said, “there is no strict attendance policy that can hurt a student’s grade if they don’t go to classes.”

This is why CLU should be more like other colleges and do away with strict attendance policies for classes, and give more responsibility to students.

However, individuals who agree with a strict attendance policy believe that attending all classes is important to the college education and experience. Students are paying large amounts of money for tuition. If we are to get our money’s worth, we need to go to all classes.

Yet the main reason for a college education is for the degree. This being the end goal, there are many students who easily achieve this without attending all or even most classes. Now, I am not claiming to be one of these students, but to skip a class here or there without the fear of my grade dropping significantly would be nice.

The exception where an attendance policy should be enforced would be participatory classes like acting, graphic design, or painting where attendance is key to completing the assignments. This would be determined through the university’s definition of participatory classes that are accepted for the participation requirement of Core-21 classes. Rather than the professors or the university punishing students for missed classes, if students do poorly in the class, that should be punishment enough.


Bryan Riley
Staff Writer
Published May 7, 2014