Dickson: Utah-Florida football game does not cancel class
Aug 31, 2023, 12:56 PM
(Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)
This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.
Some of my students are pushing me hard to cancel class today. Their reason? University of Utah football. Specifically, the Utah versus Florida football game today.
You might have heard about it. The game is at 6 p.m. at Rice Eccles Stadium. And not just any football game, but the University of Florida is coming to town. It’s the first time Utah has hosted an SEC team.
My media law class normally meets from 2-5 p.m. every Thursday. I told the students last week that I would let them out early. I reminded them this morning that I will let them out at least an hour early — but that isn’t good enough.
They want the whole day off.
Because… of course they do. They’re students. When was the last time a student wanted to be in class?
My KSL NewsRadio colleague, Maria Shilaos, also teaches a class at the University of Utah. Her class met this morning at 9 a.m., but her students still wanted the day off. In the alternative, they wanted her to teach on Zoom.
She said no, too.
So who canceled for the Utah-Florida football game?
The argument I am getting is: “The other teacher is letting his students out of class. He even said he is being advised by university leaders to cancel class because of the parking issues.”
One of my students even took a screenshot of a posting from another professor saying as much.
Look, I am not telling any other teacher how they should handle their classes. All I am saying is that these students paid around $1,700 for this class (if they pay in-state tuition). Since we only meet once a week, that comes out at over $120 per class.
I don’t feel like I have a right to cheat students out of their money’s worth. They paid for this class. They deserve to have me teach it.
If they want to choose not to come, that is entirely up to them. They are adults. They can choose to ride Trax, park farther away and walk, ride the bus or not come. They have a lot of choices.
What they can’t do is choose for the other students.
Oh — and they can’t make me mark them present if they’re absent.