Students should respect teachers’ phone policies

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To the point is an editorial selected and debated by the editorial board and written after a majority opinion is formed. This is the Collegian’s official opinon.

Cell phones — whether or not we admit it, we have all used them in class. And let’s face it, if you are trying to be covert and use your phone under the desk or table, professors know what is happening — they don’t think you’ve gained a sudden interest in your lap. We imagine this is frustrating for teachers; I wouldn’t want to be standing at the front of a class watching 20 students use cell phones under their desks, thinking they are being sneaky. On the other hand, that is the student’s own prerogative — if they want to miss out on information, that is that student’s own, individual choice.

We suggest that students be respectful to teachers if they do have a cell phone policy. If a teacher says no cell phones, leave your phone at home, turn it off or turn it on silent. If you insist on using it anyway, or if a teacher does not have a phone policy, put it on silent then, too. Please don’t leave your phone on vibrate and think people can’t hear it — they can, and it is annoying. If you absolutely need to use it, tell your teacher; most of the time they will be completely understanding.

If a teacher does have a policy spelled out, for example that students caught using cell phones will lose all participation points for the day, don’t argue or act like you’re the victim, take it in stride and know better next time. Remember, most professors aren’t itching to take points away, but when they do, it is because they are trying to promote, in their opinion, the best learning environment they possibly can. So, whatever your personal opinion on cell phones in class, we suggest that students be respectful of classroom rules and of others around them, at the very least.

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