After a couple semesters at Maryville College, I have heard several different points of view on the treatment of academic students versus athletic students. We, as a student body, have different opinions on the matter for many reasons.
As you’re sitting in class halfway through the semester in the middle of your mid-term exam, you may notice that the guy or girl in front of you has missed more than the allotted days in class required to pass the course.
Yet, by some miracle, he or she is passing all the exams and gets a B+ in the course when all is said and done. How is this possible? Weren’t there many things that you could have accomplished, but didn’t that day because you couldn’t miss class? They got to miss class for the sport they play all the time.
According to Cooper Success Center Coordinator Noah Bowman, the issue has been heavily discussed. “Travel time plays a huge part in our decisions,” Bowman said. “The concern is obviously class time missed. In addition, many faculty members adhere to the attendance policies with great enthusiasm. This makes it twice as hard to for players to attend games on the road or not. In addition, we are now heading into a larger conference from an athletic standpoint which represents dollars for the college that all of these students attend.
The so-called unfairness of this should be the furthest thing from academic students’ mind.” Freshman biology major Jessica Cook sees things in a different light.
“If I sat next to an athlete that missed 20 plus days of class, and that athlete still passed the course and I missed seven due to illness and failed due to an attendance policy violation even though we both still turned in all the work, I would be very upset,” Cook said. “The only reason that person’s absences were excused would be because they play a sport? What about the rest of us?”
We all know why sports are important for colleges. They draw exposure, money and support from the community for any college. Athletic programs also promote diversity in education, which has been a goal of educational institutions as long as college sports have been in place.
All of these aspects are ones that we as the student body agree with and support 100 percent. The argument is that an attendance policy should be universal and apply to every student on campus, whether they are athletes or not.