BY MINDY ALLEN
Grades are important, especially in college. They might be the deciding factor when applying for a career or they might cause ineligibility for scholarships or sports. Most college courses take about three to four hours a week, and a student needs additional time during the week to write papers or study for exams. When students have 15 to 18 credit hours of classes along with work, sports or other commitments, papers and homework become difficult to complete due to their lack of time. Some professors want students to attend events, and in order to ensure that they actually go, reinforce attendance with grades.
Personally, I have only encountered mandatory outside events twice in my whole three years at McKendree. When professors assigned these events, they made sure to give some sort of alternatives for not attending. However, I wonder what would happen to a student’s grade if he or she was being forced to go to an outside event for a grade, but they could not attend? Would a professor reconsider their stance on the grade if the student absolutely could not go because they have to work? It is not the student’s fault that they have to work; college is expensive and he or she probably has car payments and other expenses to consider. Is the event really that crucial to the class that it needs to have a grade assignment? One scheduled and graded event for a class may be understandable, as long as the event is scheduled on the syllabus so students have enough time to plan.
I interviewed a McKendree student, Jeremiah James, to find his opinion on attending events for a grade: “You shouldn’t have to go if it is outside of class. It is almost impossible to go if you have work or any other sort of commitments, at all.” I asked Jeremiah if he has had to take off work for events that he had to go to for grades, and he explained that he actually had to take off work a few times for different classes that required students to go to certain events outside of class time.
What do you think about professors requiring the attendance of events? Have your grades suffered for not being able to attend events, or do you feel like professors should be able to require these, even though they already take up three or four hours of your schedule each week?