Editorial: Professors shouldn’t run classes over time

It’s 10:20 on a Friday. You have a history class on the other side of campus with a big presentation coming up today. You planned on rushing across campus after you got out of this philosophy course because you needed to be there a few minutes early to set up the presentation.

Now it’s 10:21. You’re still in the same philosophy class, and you’re starting to get a little nervous.

Why? Well, your professor decided to keep class a few minutes late today to squeeze in the last few slides of his lecture for the exam next week. He’s been consistently a little late to classes this semester and hasn’t been the most organized in his lectures.

But there’s no way he’s not going to take this last bit of information out of the exam. Of course not. He’s going to give information critical to the passing of the class outside of its official hours…because that’s no big deal, right? The fact that you’re going to get out of class at 10:24 and lose half a letter grade for not having your presentation ready doesn’t seem to matter to him.

Story sound familiar?

To many Loyola students, it probably does. And for professors that do stuff like this, we have a message for you: it’s time to end the hypocrisy (note: no shot to the philosophy department or any professors. Just an example. It could be in any department on campus).

Any professor that teaches outside of the ascribed class hours has no business calling out a student asking when a paper’s due because “it’s in the syllabus.”

But hey, guess what, the instructional time for a class is also “in the syllabus.”

And going against what is in the syllabus is not only rude, inconsiderate and unprofessional but also breaches the contract between the instructor and student.

That’s essentially what a syllabus is. There’s that much power to it. Regret throwing all of yours away now, don’t you?

Going against the syllabus is going against what students signed up for. It’s unfair. It’s deceitful. And with a going rate of $1,073 per credit hour, that language isn’t too strong.

When students sign up for a class, they are signing up for what the syllabus tells them.

Despite any claims otherwise, class isn’t over when the instructor says it’s over (nor does it begin when he says it begins), unless those times run within what is listed on the syllabus.

Now, this doesn’t apply to a professor that keeps a good discussion going for a minute or two after class on occasion. That’s fine. Maybe a little inconsiderate if she doesn’t tell the rest of the class they’re free to leave, but other than that it’s largely harmless.

What isn’t, though, is when a professor keeps going with the lecture beyond the time in the syllabus.

With 10 minutes between classes, a student might have to choose whether to continue listening to the lecture going over time or abandoning that to hear the start of another.

That should never have to be the case. It’s in the syllabus, after all.