Opinion: We need something more than a note on the door

A few weeks ago, I drove to campus for what was supposed to be my only class for the day. As a commuter student, it’s sometimes difficult to find parking, but I managed to arrive early and find a decent parking space. I was in good spirits as I trudged up the sidewalk to reach the library. But my spirits dampened when I arrived at the classroom and saw a notification on the door informing me that class was canceled.

This wasn’t the first time this has happened during my time at Framingham State, and it probably won’t be the last. Nonetheless, it’s frustrating when I discover that I just drove to campus for no reason. While some professors send email notifications when class is canceled, I don’t think “some” is enough – it should be done by all professors.

I’d like to stress that this is not a critique of professorial conduct, but a request for an additional method of notification. I realize that many students do not check their emails regularly, and therefore some professors are wary of using it as a system. However, there is no reason for students not to be checking their email. Now that nearly everyone has a smart phone, students literally have access to their inbox at their fingertips.

Using email as a notification for class cancellation would not just prevent needless trips to campus, it would also encourage students to check their email more regularly. If an email was sent and students did not read it and ended up walking to class only to discover it was canceled, they would have nobody to blame but themselves.

Which brings me to another point: this system would shift anger away from professors. I know many of my fellow students blame the professor for the inconvenience when they arrive at a class which isn’t going to be held. But if emails were used, the students would have had ample time to check their e-mail to see whether or not class was cancelled, and thus the professor would not be to blame.

Of course, I realize that this is not a perfect system. Sometimes emails don’t send or the website doesn’t load. But email is usually reliable and checking it often isn’t as much of a hassle as people make it out to be. And really, in this day and age, pieces of paper on a door shouldn’t be the sole method of notification.

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