Alexis Peterson, Ad Rep
Sometimes in life we run into things that we aren’t expecting, and those things can throw us off schedule and off-kilter. This can be particularly troublesome when you are in college.
Say you’re sick, or you have a family emergency. Some professors are understanding, they know that we have lives and they know that things go wrong. However, not every professor is so understanding. There is no overarching accommodation policy for issues that we may run into. Instead, the University allows professors to decide for themselves whether or not any circumstances should be considered as an excusable reason to turn in late work or miss class. This non-standard policy is a relic from a time when the only people who came to college were people who could afford to, who didn’t have as much to balance in their lives as we do today. With a majority of students commuting in to campus, often having familial obligations or jobs that they have to juggle on top of school, it can be hard to stay as on top of things as we would like to. One wrench in the gears and suddenly you’re back to square one, scrambling to get things done because of an upset in your personal life.
In the past, I have been affected by this policy as well. For a while, my grandfather was in the hospital, and it wasn’t projected that he would have a lot of time left. However, I was unable to leave the city to see him at the time as a result of my busy class and work schedule. So, a majority of my contact with him and my family was through group messaging and texts, updating me on his condition and how he was. During this time, I was so worried about him and so distracted by my job, that I forgot to turn in an assignment. I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal, that I could turn it in for half credit or whatever. But that isn’t what happened. I emailed the professor, informed them of the situation and was told that no matter the circumstance, they did not accept late work. All late work was graded as not turned in, and therefore a zero. At the time, I didn’t stress on this zero, but still, it hurt my grade, and even more so, hurt my desire to learn and my faith in the fact that my professors were people too.
Nowadays, we all have things that can get in the way of us turning in things exactly on time. Whether it is family, or work, or an emergency. However, if these reasons are legitimate, I believe that we, as students, should be shown some compassion and understanding. We are adults, often with other responsibilities, and to be treated as if we were middle school age children, who have nothing to do day to day except for their homework, is ridiculous. And while some people can abuse this system and the kindness of some of our professors, I believe that it is better if we are given the benefit of the doubt and treated like real adult humans instead of baby ducklings that need guiding.