Students pay for cancelled classes

Caroline Moses

Quinnipiac University is one of the quickly up-and-coming ranked schools in the North East, so our education is expected to be pricey. Approximately $39,330 for classes a year pricey, not including room and board. That works out to be $1,311 per credit and $3,933 per class per semester. That means that every Monday, Wednesday, Friday 50-minute class that we miss, we say goodbye to about $87.40.

So every time we sleep through our alarm clock, we kiss $87.40 goodbye. Every time we’re too hungover to go to class, we lose another $87.40. And every time our teacher cancels our class, our pockets get $87.40 lighter.

If we make the conscious decision to skip our classes, we’re reprimanded, not only losing our (or our parent’s) hard-earned money, but we’re also getting points taken off of our final grade. Therefore, if we’re penalized for skipping a class, then why is it that it’s OK when a professor cancels a class?

Quinnipiac’s faculty handbook states that “[e]ach faculty member is expected to meet his or her classes as regularly scheduled” including that if for any reason a faculty member cannot make it to class, they must inform their department chair and make arrangements regarding makeup assignments or substitute teachers.

Professors are paid on a merit-based system, where they are rewarded with bonuses and promotions for their work. Sarah Steele, associate vice president for academic affairs, shared that professors can be penalized if the department chairs are made aware of a situation in which they are not performing fully.

The cancelled classes have nothing to say regarding a teacher’s education, or their adequacy to lead a class. Every professor at Quinnipiac has at least a Master’s degree in education or his or her specific field. Their education is pretty much complete. Ours, however, is just starting. At first, a cancelled class or two is fine, we’re even happy about it, especially at 8 a.m. But if a class is cancelled more than five times, are we entitled to a refund at the end of the semester? And when a professor cancels their class more than eight times, can we even say we’ve gotten an education in the specific class?

If we pay $87.40 per class, only for approximately 10 (or even sometimes more) to be cancelled, is it even worth attending the class? As we all go through registration for next semester, do we even bother paying money for a class that we know we’re going to get nothing out of? And it’s not just the cancelled classes, it’s deleted chapters from the syllabus, pushed back assignments, makeshift due dates and tests still waiting to be graded. How does Quinnipiac expect us to do well when some of our professors aren’t up to par?

Let’s not forget the unfortunate snow and hurricane days that Quinnipiac had this year. Although there was nothing we could do about them, the university cancelled nine full days of classes this year, not even counting the days our classes were started later. Even when the school reopened, many professors had to cancel their own classes for different reasons such as car troubles, snow on their street or the unfortunate damages to their towns and homes. Even though the university is not to blame for these, where does our money go? Are we entitled for a refund? Should we even pay this much money if we’re guaranteed to have this many classes cancelled?

Ivy league schools cost roughly about the same as Quinnipiac University, sometimes even less. Yale University, for instance, costs roughly $34,400 a year, thousands cheaper than our pricey figure, yet the quality of their education exceeds ours by far. Why is it that we pay so much to get so little?

Quinnipiac, we need to reassess either the tuition, the faculty’s attendance policy or the system of keeping track of your professors, because we’re paying for a good education, not more time to sleep in. If it’s our fault when we skip a class, then why isn’t it our professors’ when they do the same? Although they can get penalized through payment, how often does that happen, and why isn’t it enough to guarantee a regulated class attendance?