Your tuition should cover the privilege to pee

"Professor, can I go to the bathroom?" (Illustration by Jenna McLoughlin)

“Professor, can I go to the bathroom?” (Illustration by Jenna McLoughlin)

Welcome to college! The taxpayers are no longer paying for your education and it’s on your own dime. That means everything you do, you are accountable for. One of the first things my instructors have always told me is that we are going by adult rules. Followed by that statement is the long speech about what students are allowed to do and have in class. No electronics is becoming more and more frequent among the classroom rules.

My past professors have cited studies that supposedly prove that handwritten notes are more effective than typed notes on a laptop. While most educators want the best for their students, it should ultimately be the student’s decision on how they are going to take their notes. Not every student is the same. Taking away personal electronics is taking away a student’s personal portable library.

How do you explain controlling my bathroom breaks? I don’t know of a job where someone is told when their bathroom break is. There isn’t an adult scenario where someone’s bathroom rights are considered a privilege controlled by another adult.

Students are paying for the opportunity to learn information. What they do with that opportunity is their prerogative. If what a student does in the classroom isn’t disruptive, disrespectful or dangerous and is within the boundaries of the law then it should be their option to do it.

As adults, students know what is disrespectful and disruptive. If you have to use the bathroom, be quick and don’t make excessive noise. If you need to look something up on your personal electronics, go ahead, just turn the noise off and don’t block someone’s view. These are all big boy rules. People making minor movements and noises shouldn’t distract a student enough for the instructor to feel the necessity to outlaw the bathroom and laptops.

The professor shouldn’t be so discouraged by students texting that it stops them from doing their job. If a student wants to pay tuition to sit and text in class, that’s their choice. Someone texting in class should not and will not break my focus from the person standing at the front of the room, teaching the material I have paid to learn. What does break my focus is when my professor rants for an indeterminable amount of time on how a student taking a bathroom break disrupts the whole class.

If a teacher can’t do their job with people moving about occasionally or typing on their personal electronics, they need to say in the course description that the course will be taught at a college-level price but with grade school rules. This way when students sign up for classes, the adults can steer clear and the instructor can get plenty of children to control for the semester.

About Kevin Jeffords (3 Articles)
A native of Jacksonville FL. and Marine Veteran.

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