My enemy, the alarm clock, screams a deafening shrill in my ears, interrupting my much needed, peaceful slumber. It is 8 a.m., and I have class in an hour and a half. It will take 30 minutes to get ready, and almost an hour to find a parking spot in the overly crowded parking structure. I hate waking up early, as most college students do. I hate trying to find parking even more. As I walk up to my classroom, I notice a bright note, signed by my professor. “Class canceled.” I do not have another class until 11 a.m. What am I supposed to do until then?
This is a situation all of us CSUN students can relate to. Sometimes, a canceled class can be a blessing. But it can also be an inconvenience. What about the people who commute from places far away, or the people who take the very unreliable public transportation route? Imagine the difficulties they face in just trying to get to campus, let alone them finding out a class is canceled. What about those who work? I have a job that gives me very flexible hours. As a college student, money tends to be tight. I have to work when I can to make as much money as possible. Had I known my class would be canceled, I could have called in at work.
So now, what should we do about this? And how come nobody has ever brought this up before? One of the first things teachers worry about is our attendance. Do not be tardy, better yet do not be absent, and if for any reason you may think you’re going to miss class, try to let the professor know ahead of time, right? Well, let me ask you a question. Do not we deserve the same respect? Because that is what this is about respect. Aretha Franklin demanded it in her song, just as we should demand it on this campus. It is not about canceling classes. It is about having the respect to let us know ahead of time that class will be canceled, so that we can adjust our day accordingly. Compromise can and needs to be made.
There are three solutions that I came up with. If the professor knows he will miss the next class meeting, he should be required by the university to announce it to the class in some way.
Solution #1 – He can physically announce it or write it on the board for all to see at least one class prior. One problem, however, is what about the absent students? I say, oh well. That isn’t the professor’s responsibility.
Solution #2 – CSUN can put a list of canceled classes on the school Web site, maybe as in the portal, on a daily basis. And as responsible young adults, it is up to students to check the Web site.
Solution #3 – In the beginning of the semester, professors are presented with e-mail lists of every student enrolled in their class, so all they would have to do is send out a bulk e-mail, maybe the day before, or by 7 a.m. the day of the class, announcing the cancellation.
Again, the responsibility would be left up to us to check our e-mails before school, which we should be doing anyway.
I brought this to your attention because as students we work hard. We work hard to survive this college life.
Some of us work hard just to get up in the morning to come to class, and in that regard we deserve the same respect we give to our professors.
Let’s take a step to do something about this because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I’m just saying what a lot of you may have been thinking for a long time.