By Maggie LaFleur
Students everywhere know what the first day of class is like. Typically the instructor reviews the syllabus, then makes everyone in the class give those dreaded and super awkward introductions: insert your name, major, year, hometown and something interesting about yourself. Many probably think, “Who wants to sit through all of that?”
Especially if it’s their fourth or fifth year doing so.
But if students with the habit of blowing off those first days of classes tried it again this year, they will pay the price.
New to Eastern this fall, the “Use it or lose it” policy gives instructors the authority to drop students from their classes if they don’t attend on the first day.
“I think it’s useful,” said Jim Gleason, assistant professor to the Department of Communication. “It sends a message that participation in the class is a good thing.”
Gleason said some of his classes are often overflowing and he has to turn students away.
He said the new policy could potentially filter out the students who really want to be in the class from students who don’t.
Communications lecturer John Strada echoed Gleason’s statement.
“I enjoyed the fact that students no longer get to steal the spot from other students who want to take the class,” Strada said.
Strada said he had some students miss the first day of class only due to parking issues.
He only dropped one student who had ironically harassed Strada for an override into his class over the summer but failed to show up for the class even on the second day.
“If I have a full class I want to make sure everyone wants to be there,” Gleason said.
Kathy Keltner, also an assistant professor in the communication department, said she’s glad the policy has been instated and everyone showed up to all four of her classes on the first day.
“Students at EKU typically have trouble [registering] for classes,” she said. “I think this will alleviate students from just shopping around.”
Some students said they also think the new policy is a good thing.
“You’re here to go to class,” said Shana Goggins, a graduate student. “If you don’t want to go, someone else does.”
Goggins, however, admits to being one of those students who would skip the first day of class in her undergraduate days.
“It [the policy] motivates kids to actually go to class on the first day,” said Mason Duke, homeland security major from Columbus, Ind.
Duke and his friends said their instructors were strict about enforcing this new policy.
Some students said they are all for the idea simply because they can’t afford to not go to class.
“If you’re going to pay for college, you go to class,” said Alex Rowland, wildlife management major from Lebanon, Ohio.
But other students also said there can be justifying circumstances to this policy.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Audrianna Santana, pre-med major from Paintsville, Ky.
Santana said she misread the room number on her schedule and sat in on the wrong instructor’s ENG 101 class on the first day. That instructor assured to make her original instructor aware of the situation; unfortunately, she was still dropped from the class and had to register again.
“I think extenuating circumstances happen, but no one seems to be understanding of that,” said Lori Wilson, political science major from Somerset, Ky.
Tyler Thornton, pre-med major from Louisville, Ky. also said a friend of his was dropped from a class because of an error on her schedule, which she said caused her to find the wrong room.
Overall, the Use it or lose it policy seemed to be effective in its purpose on the first day of classes. Now, who will stick it out for the remainder of the semester?