Traffic problems hinder students’ attendance
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 19:10
Life at a commuter college is filled with obstacles, such as balancing a job and family with studies, finding parking spots upon arrival at school, and other traffic-related issues. Sometimes, obstacles come in the form of physical barriers that arise during the commute to campus.
Take, for instance, a chain-reaction crash that slows traffic to a crawl on a well-traveled highway like Interstate 80/94 or some other traffic complication that occurs on a busy road. Students that commute often face similar obstacles as they make their way to campus. PUC parking lots and hallways often seem unusually empty on days like this, likely due to the extra traffic. Yet, classes resume as normal, though some classes may be emptier than usual.
Some students who have found themselves caught in such heavy traffic feel that some faculty members are not sensitive enough to these situations. Junior Mandy Herrsaid she had a professor who would “close the door after 15 minutes and would not allow students in, regardless of what their reasoning may be.” As a result, she missed a quiz while stuck behind an accident that increased her 10-minute commute to 30 minutes. Though Herr emailed her professor from her car, she said that her professor did not accept the explanation for her tardiness.
“I was told I should've left my house earlier,” said Herr.
Tremont Turner said most professors are lenient, especially when multiple students are late to class because of an accident on the main route to campus. Throughout his college career, Turner said he has never had an incident where a professor would not excuse him because of traffic-related issues.
Pete Livas, an instructor for BHS 20100, said he does not mind if students come in late or leave early, as long as they do not bother anyone around them as they come or go.
“The class I teach is hard,” Livas said, “and I’m of the opinion that if someone can do that and still do well in the class, then I don’t have a problem with that.”
As for missing class on a test day, or when an assignment is due, Livas said “as long as you can prove it happened, then I’ll give extensions.” This is his blanket policy for all events that may keep a student from coming to class, including traffic incidents. He does not use a points system for attendance.