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Should Attendance Be Mandatory?

By Caroline Nickolaus
Staff Writer

Life for college students comes with a lot of freedom and power. This means we have more responsibilities and decisions to make on our own. A constant daily battle some students might face is answering the question: “Should I go to class?”

Perhaps you were up late the night before finishing homework, or the class is boring, or you simply have better things to do (like meeting with friends at Starbucks). You may choose not to go to your morning classes. Do you think you should be penalized for not attending class, or is it something the professor should overlook as long as you turn in your assignments and receive good grades?

Against popular opinion, I strongly believe attendance should be mandatory and that students should go to all classes. Without a mandatory attendance policy, too many students would be tempted to skip class. For example, some lectures are far too big to take attendance. I think being present and attentive are key pieces to being successful throughout the semester. It shows respect to your professor that you took the time out of your busy schedule to attend class, so it isn’t a waste of the professor’s time. By going to class everyday, you can stay tuned with the curriculum and know what is going on at all times. Most professors will argue that attendance and good performance on tests are highly related. By going to class, you are also helping fellow classmates in having an interactive environment with diverse peer-opinions and feedback to classroom discussions.

Some college students argue that they should not be punished for poor attendance since they are paying for these classes through tuition Christina Kotarski, a junior Secondary English Education major, stated, “I feel that attendance should not be mandatory. We are adults, and we should be able to make the decision to attend classes on our own. If someone wants to jeopardize their future by not attending classes, that’s their decision. I feel that, in the end, it is in the hands of the student.”

Another downside to mandatory attendance is the amount of students who come to class not to learn but to simply earn the attendance points. This poses as a distraction to the kids that actually go to class to listen and learn. Admit it—we’ve all been in lecture halls and looked around to see girls checking hairstyles or wedding gowns on Pinterest or guys watching live sporting events on their laptops. Mandatory attendance may punish hardworking students who don’t attend classes, also. If a student studies hard outside of class and does well on the tests, they will still get a poor overall grade due to the attendance grade being factored in. College is all about growing up and maturing both personally and academically into young adults— but required attendance seems to go against this statement and treats students like children.

Senior Public Relations major Colleen Dreyer said, “I don’t think attendance in college should be mandatory. The difference between high school and college is that you have more free will. Of course it’s important to attend the classes you are enrolled in, but that should be a personal choice. If you do well in class without showing up, good for you. If you don’t do well, due to attendance, perhaps you may consider going to class.”

So what do you think? Should all professors at LIU Post carry out mandatory attendance policies? Email us at and let us know.

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