Forced attendance

As a reclassified PhD student, I’m considered a “new” student, and I must attend at least 70% of some seminar series that my department puts on.

I don’t really understand the purpose of the seminar series; I get the feeling that it’s just to make the department look active and important.  Whatever, do your thing.  However, I really hate the rule that forces students to attend these things.  We have to swipe our student cards to mark our attendance!

Come on, we’re grad students! Do you really have to implement systems like this as a condition of our degrees?  Are you just trying to avoid the embarrassment of having a speaker come but have no one attend?  What if there are fewer than 70% of the seminars that interest me?  I have to attend just to be there.  I spend the whole time on my phone, and absorb nothing.  That’s just as embarrassing as having no one at the seminars.

I’ve been compelled to go before, but forcing me to go really puts a bad taste in my mouth, and really changes the attitudes of the people who attend.  I do not approve these strategies.

P.S. How sad is it that the WordPress auto-suggest-media thing suggested only pictures of men based on this text?


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