Attendance requirements unneccessary

I want to begin my letter by making it clear how happy I am to be a Northeastern student. During the first three-quarters of my freshman year, I have thoroughly appreciated the educational and social opportunities this university has presented to me. In spite of how much I have enjoyed my brief tenure here, there is one aspect of the experience that has fallen short of my expectations.

Before classes began this September, one of the things I looked forward to most was the sense of freedom I thought I would experience. The freedom I am thinking of is not freedom from dictatorial parents, or freedom from the suburban bubble in which I was raised. I am thinking of educational freedom. The term refers to a right to choose which assignments I would do, whether I would take part in class discussions or take notes on lectures, and whether I would attend class.

I think it is obvious to anyone intelligent enough to be admitted to this university that a student who frequently chooses not to do those three things will not remain here for very long. Therefore, I am surprised and disappointed professors here place so much emphasis on class attendance and participation. I expected college professors to regard attendance and participation thusly: Whether or not a student decides to attend my class, I will still teach the class as scheduled. If that student completes his or her assignments and receives passing grades, he or she will pass. If the student does not complete the assignments or does complete them but in a manner that is unsatisfactory, he or she will fail.

To defend myself from those who might think me overly critical of this school’s faculty, allow me to state that during my first two semesters of class, I have already encountered some of the brightest and best teachers I have ever had.

But, to be frank, I’ve been through high school; I remember doing all the work that was forced upon me there so that I could earn my way into an institution the caliber of Northeastern. I know what I’m paying to be here, and I also know what’s at stake: Not only my investment and my future, but those of this school as well. I based my decision to come here on the expectation that my enrollment would be benefit both myself and to the university. I have put faith in Northeastern to hold up its end of the bargain; my only request is that I be trusted to hold up mine.

– Jared Sugerman is a freshman journalism major.

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