3.1.18 Empty Classroom

Classrooms in Allen Hall sit empty on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

The 2019 fall semester has started, with one week officially down. Students at the University are bustling around campus trying to make it to their classes on time. However, among this crowd of enrolled students is a different breed of people who also are trying to make it to classrooms on time: the lecture loiterers.

Among the big names hired by the University to give lectures comes a posse of people not enrolled in the class or even in the University. These people come just to sit in on the lectures on campus. It is time these people are kindly asked to remain outside the classroom doors while a class is in session.

Whether these loiterers are friends of the professor, former students or just fans of the professor, the greater number of non-enrolled people in the classroom there are, the less seats are available for students actually enrolled in the class. While this may seem trivial, the lack of seating options for students can have a major impacts on student success.

Studies have shown that when a student sits in the front of a class, their grades are likely to improve. Furthermore, etiquette dictates that students who rely on their laptops for note taking should sit near the back of the class to not distract anyone. If lecture loiterers encroach and take up too many spots in the classroom, they could negatively affect overall class performance. Loiterers themselves can serve as a distraction just by their presence.

The presence of lecture loiterers is completely unfair to the student body. A University student who’s a Louisiana resident can expect to pay over $23,000 annually, and this cost can climb thanks to the “leadership” of LSU President F. King Alexander. To allow anyone the arbitrary privilege of sitting in on a lecture students take on crippling debt for is a spit in the face of anyone who is trying to graduate at Louisiana’s flagship university.

Allowing random people to float in a classroom is a serious safety concern. There was just recently a serious, and thankfully false, alarm about a visitor with a firearm in Coates Hall. Every day that the University allows random, non-enrolled people to gallivant into classrooms is another day the University gambles that every campus visitor has peaceful intentions.

If someone really wishes to speak to the professor as a fan, former student or friend, they should kindly wait outside of the classroom until instruction concludes. The classroom is a work space for the professor and for the students. Guests that are not there to assist in the lecture serve only to distract and detract from it. Ultimately, guests are not invited.

Brett Landry is a 20-year-old mass communication senior from Bourg, Louisiana.

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