Give me liberty or give me an F

Four years ago I chose to attend college because I yearned for a higher education. Now, as an incoming senior I’m not so sure this personalized $40,000 per year education has been exactly my choice.

It is only mandated by the states that a student finish grades K-12. You would think because you are paying for your education, you would finally be able to design your own path, rather than succumb to the rules and regulations of the administration. And from my perspective, attendance should be seen as a matter of respect for your professor rather than an obligation.

Chapman policy states that if a student misses 20 percent or more of class time they automatically fail the class.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a purpose to every rule, but when you strip the rule down to its basic meaning, it is essentially the loss of your personal freedoms.

If I can show up to class only on test days and still pass with flying colors should I not be able to succeed in the class? If I never miss a deadline is it really accurate to say my effort is equivalent to that of a student who doesn’t turn his or her projects in on time, yet shows up to class everyday?

We pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to graduate from a private university, yet the entire time we are still not able to enact the simplest of human rights, our freedom of choice.

I work two jobs, am taking 18 credits, have an internship and am involved in clubs and Greek organizations on campus. So if I am acing every essay, exam and project thrown at me then my attendance says nothing about my capability and understanding of the material—which is the true purpose of higher education.

We are here to better understand the concepts of our choice, not to be graded on how many times I sat at the desk taking notes, or more likely browsing the Internet. It should be up to the student whether or not sitting in class is more beneficial than perhaps spending some time in the library and working on assignments.

Without scholarships, grants or financial aid Chapman costs $20,520 a semester and that is not including a roof over your head or living expenses. You would think for that price you would be able to make a personal decision of whether or not to show up to class one day. It would be your own loss right?

I’m sure it could be argued that class discussions may lack conversation without the embodiment of the whole class, but there are solutions to this like online discussion boards and class emails.

I sign off on the loans and work the hours that pay for my education, proving the effort I put forth both academically and professionally, thus I should be able to choose when I take a seat in front of the whiteboard each week.


1 Comment

  • Interesting, but the writer DOES have freedom to choose. He chose to apply to, then attend, a school with a published rule that students cannot miss more than 20% of the scheduled classes. Having enrolled, he chose to accept those rules. Test scores do not mean that you have an understanding of course materials- the nuances of understanding are often a result of further discussion during class time. That discussion is more nuanced if the ideal class size is present. You chose to attend a school with small class sizes- somewhere where participation is important. Stop whining and participate, or attend an online university.

Leave a Comment