In his economics class, Rafael Lett began to notice a pattern: The professor was always late. “My economics professor would have the TA come in and tell the class the professor is going to be late,” says Lett, 25, a math major and senior at City College. “They do that all the time and they should be fired if they are consistently late. Students are paying money and try to use their time efficiently as possible.”
Lett isn’t the only one who thinks professors should have a late policy like students.
At City College everyone knows about the 15-minute late rule, a policy that applies to classes that run for an hour and 15 minutes. If the professor is more than 15 minutes late, students can leave.
It makes sense: Time is precious. But is that enough? Unlike students professors are excluded from being penalized by anyone for being late or absent for a class.
According to the course bulletin for CCNY, students are expected to attend every class session that they are enrolled in and be on time. The instructor has the right to drop a student if they are continuously late. And for some professors being late turns into absences.
David Prince, an MCA adjunct, thinks that there should be a consequence for professors who are late. “I believe students are well within their right to report professors for being late for class,” says David Prince.“At the same time a student should be understanding if a professor has an isolated problem as to why he or she is late.”
Others take a harsher view. “I really think the late policies are unfair,” says Alana Reich, a senior at City College and a Brooklyn resident who travels on public transportation to school. “Most of us are working and [traveling] via public transportation. If professors have the opportunity to be late then so should we!”
Simone Tharkur, who commutes from White Plains, takes her professors’ tardiness in stride. “I don’t think it’s an inconvenience, but more of an annoyance,” says Tharkur, 21. “After all we have to be in class regardless if a professor is late or not.”