No-show is a no go

(Leslie Walker / Ryersonian Staff)

(Leslie Walker / Ryersonian Staff)

When students come to university, they know they won’t have their hand held like in high school, but they are still expected to show up and show respect. The basic rules apply: don’t talk in class, only use your laptops for taking notes and don’t use your phone.

But what about the etiquette from teacher to student? Students who trek to school, especially those who have a long morning commute, to find a note on the door cancelling class are inconvenienced and disappointed. Ryerson early childhood education student Brittany King tweeted last week asking, ”Are we allowed to leave after 20 minutes with no prof? What’s the rule for this situation at Ryerson?”

Of course, professors, like the rest of us, get sick and weather personal crises and emergencies. But if students have to hand in a doctor’s note and give notice so as not to be counted as a no-show, is it too much to ask for professors to too give as much notice as possible? It’s frustrating for students who commute to Ryerson from far away to find their only class that day cancelled or to wait beyond the 10 minutes of “Ryerson time” for a professor to show up.

Some professors do send emails before class to inform their students about cancellations. But emails sent a mere hour or two before class can reach students while they’re already on their daily commute to school.

Respect is a two-way street. The phrase “respect your elders” doesn’t come with the stipulation “because they won’t respect you.” Professors should use their authority to set a good example for students. Notifying students as early on as possible when class will be cancelled is a good place to start.

This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on April 2, 2014.

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