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Section Header
Let boors talk, sleep elsewhere

By Wildcat Opinions Board
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday November 12, 2002

New data showing that disruptive behavior is rampant in UA lecture halls reveals a culture of disrespect among students; but there may also be an easy way for some teachers to solve classroom behavior problems.

A recently-released survey from the Dean of Students Office found that more than half of instructors in large lecture classes were distracted by students talking in class and arriving late. Many teachers were also disrupted by students leaving early, sleeping and, yes, even reading the newspaper.

The results certainly aren't shocking we've all been in boring classes and have probably all been guilty of these offenses. That just proves, though, that a lack of respect for professors is running rampant at the UA.

It's unnecessary, too. We're in college and few teachers are forcing us to go to class. Rather than showing up, not paying attention and causing a distraction, the option always exists to simply not go.

Absenteeism wasn't one of the disruptive habits listed on the survey.

Students should go to class. That's why universities exist. But just showing up isn't enough. At the very least, people should be able to keep from distracting their classmates and their professors while they pretend to pay attention.

If they can't, they shouldn't go.

Students shouldn't shoulder all the blame for the lack of respect evidenced by the survey, though. Professors who make attendance mandatory could do themselves a big favor by eliminating that requirement.

College students are old enough to know they must suffer the consequences of their actions, or inactions. If they fail the exam because they skipped 10 classes in a row, too bad.

Combine an increased sense of respect on students' part with more permissive attendance policies by professors, and the attitude that class is just for chillin' may begin to dissipate.

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