Why Professors Need to Quit With The "No Phones In Class" Rule


Another fall semester has officially commenced—hold the cheers. No seriously, quiet down. Hear that? It’s the sound of professors giving us hell about cell phones in class. You’d think in a 250-person lecture hall, a singular professor wouldn’t waste a breath calling out students being on Facebook in class. But we’re not naïve—we know very well that cellphone-surveillance is just about as typical of a welcome as almost getting hit by a bus on College Place. It’s something we’re used to and accept, sort of. We don’t actually follow the heinous “no tech in class” rules, so why are they bolded in our syllabi in the first place? After all, aren’t WE (the students), paying THEM (the professors), to stand up there and preach lecture in the first place? So why are we letting professors be the ones to decide when and when not we get to send our important emails aka DM funny memes to our roommates.

Don’t act like you wouldn’t rather be admiring that sexy double chin of yours in your front-view camera. A Baylor University study found that on average, college students spend 8–10 hours a day on their cellphones. That’s just on average, realistically our only phones leave our hands for the five minutes we shower every three days.  

Regardless of our cell and hygiene habits, it shouldn’t be the role of your 70-year-old professor who thinks a meme is some pre-war propaganda shit to be policing these activities. That’s what high school was for. If we are forever parented, then us college kids are going to miss out on a lesson more valuable than knowing what a binomial probability experiment is: being your own adult.

The essence of the “college experience” is learning to live with your own decisions. If we want to spend our 55-minute period—which at an institution like Syracuse University amounts to roughly $75.00 a session… we checked—staring at the car-crash that is Trump’s twitter, then quit trying to stop us! Should becoming an expert in Trump-tweets lead to an "F" on the midterm, then maybe we’ll think about putting the phone away next class, or we’ll think about dropping it and enrolling in HST 455: A Comprehensive History of Trump Twitter, from “Everyone knows I am right that Robert Pattinson should dump Kristen Stewart” to “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’” This is our decision to make. Let us have it.