Professors who miss class are disrespecting students

Ashley Jung

Students understand having a college degree is an achievement setting them apart in society. But when professors miss class, it puts a strain on the learning environment.

With tuition costs on the rise, more students are fighting to make every class count. Instead of ditching classes, students are trying to not be late or they’re going to class sick not wanting to lose even a small portion of the education they are paying for.

While many students are adamant about regular class attendance, some professors are not. 

When professors are late, students will often give them a break and wait around until they get to the classroom. But when professors unexpectedly cancel class, the problem is they’re not always sending out the warning email or have someone put up a notice on the door to let students know class is canceled in time.

Some professors deduct class points if students are late or if a certain amount of classes are missed. But the consequences are unclear for a professor who never shows up to class on time.

Students are the ones paying tuition fees while professors are paid regardless.

Imagine being a full-time student with a couple different once-a-week classes and a professor skips a week. Regardless of the issues surrounding his or her absence, it’s still a week lost and that could add up.

Students understand things come up. It’s the professors who frequently miss or cancel class with little-to-no warning who are the issue.

Junior English and literature major Pauline Taylor is inconvenienced more than most. She commutes from Grass Valley every day via bus. 

“I’ve never had a teacher cancel so many times to where it started to annoy me and take away from my learning,” Taylor said. “However, if I did have a teacher who was doing that, I would become very irritated because I learn best in class. If the teacher kept canceling and not giving me the chance to actually learn, it would for sure begin to hurt my grade and basically waste my time.”

When it comes down to it, students are here to learn from their professors and mutual respect makes for a happy classroom.

Students aren’t askingfor much. To be honest, on a beautiful day students sometimes enjoy a sporadically cancelled class. But it’s bad form for professors to cancel class every week or so without warning.

Professors’ lives are busy. They have other obligations, families and their own set of problems to handle on a day-to-day basis. But sending a well-timed mass email to students notifying them of a cancelled class could alleviate so much tension. 

Communication studies professor Robert Humphrey is strongly against missing class.

“Professors should not miss class unless it’s an extraordinary reason.  I mean, it’s unprofessional not to be there,” Humphrey said. “If you miss class on a regular basis, that is just unacceptable.”

Students don’t expect their professors’ lives to revolve around them. Half the time, students are surprised professors have the ability to memorize so many names every semester.

Students just ask for the common courtesy of a heads-up when there will be no class. As much as students enjoy a day off, they do not like showing up to class and waiting only to find you will not be showing up.

It’s about the mutual respect. Students do their best to respect professors. Give them this one small warning so students don’t secretly resent their professors and dread class for the rest of the semester.

Ashley Jung can be reached at [email protected]