Whether it’s because of oversleeping, getting held late at work or having trouble finding a parking spot, most college students have been late to at least one class.
Dana Goronsky, a senior communication major, said waiting in line at Starbucks and parking are the two main reasons she is late to class.
“For an 8 a.m., I’m cutting it close every time because you don’t want to get up any earlier than that,” Goronsky said.
Goronsky said her professors have become stricter with attendance and lateness policies during the last few years.
“For a lot of people in the communication field, if you miss two classes, you fail,” Goronsky said. “They’re unexcused automatically.”
FGCU’s attendance policy expects “regular and punctual attendance and participation” by the students, but leaves specific policies up to professors.
Professors use a variety of techniques to get students in their seats on time: they may have late students sing “I’m a little teapot” in the front of the room, to having pop quizzes at the beginning of class, to locking the door once class has started.
Accounting instructor Daniel Acheampong uses “ridicule” and an attendance grade to get students to class on time.
“Sometimes they walk in and we all say, ‘Welcome,’ and everybody laughs,” Acheampong said. “I have an incentive for them not to show up late because 2.5 percent of the total grade is attendance. If you miss more than two classes you don’t get those points.”
For Acheampong, students who show up late or leave class early have missed the class.
William D’Ausilio, junior political science major, said he has only been late to a college class once.
“I try to leave about 30 minutes early,” D’Ausilio said. “I’m always about 10 minutes early everywhere I go.”
D’Ausilio said usually when his classmates are late, professors will make a comment to call them out on it.
Joelle Richard is an assistant professor of marine and ecological sciences who has a lot of students show up late to her Scientific Research course.
“It can be distracting because the doors are making a lot of noise, and they don’t really care so they don’t really come in quietly,” Richard said of her upperclassmen. “If it’s only one it’s OK, but when it’s a few of them through the first half hour, that gets a bit distracting.”
Richard said it is distracting for not just her but for students presenting projects in front of the class. She has not taken habitually late students aside before, but she said she might start speaking with them.
“It’s not like they’re freshmen,” Richard said. “So they should know about it.”
Many students use parking as a reason for being late to class, but Acheampong’s advice for them is to get to class even earlier.
“They are not going to build 20 parking lots,” Acheampong said. “Even if you build 100 it would still happen, so you just have to come in early. That is the only solution.”