The diminishing compassion of professors during finals


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Brooke Kruger, Opinion Writer

Teachers and professors are supposed to be some of the most kind-hearted and understanding beings in the universe. They dedicate their careers to helping their students become successful while making their learning environment constructive and less stressful. But how far can professors extend their graciousness for their students? Certain situations should result in some leeway and some should not.  

“I have a lot going on” has been one of the most used excuses by students to explain their lack of dedication to their courses. There is a significant difference between an emotional or physical event that prevents a student from doing their classes and simply just being busy. Throughout a semester professors and peers will hear from others that they are too busy to offer a sufficient amount of work to be successful. This is usually the result of poor time management, lack of interest in the course, or the hope that they can rely on their peers at the last second. Hoping that professors will buy into the “busy” excuse without receiving probing questions, students take advantage of their professors’ compassion in hopes to gain more time to work on assignments or produce low-grade work.  

Students with phony excuses are reducing the extension of empathy from professors to students with serious academic conflicts. Professors start to take fewer excuses as students become more comfortable in their courses and approach final examsShould that mean that they are to disregard true concerns and struggles from students? The majority of professors are dedicated to their jobs until the end of the semester, but most students can say that they have encounter one or two that decide they will not consider any exceptions with finals approaching as it becomes difficult to distinguish the honest students from the careless.  

Professors should be compassionate about technology issues all semester, even during finals. With Covid especially, almost all work has been transferred to online platforms. Blackboard experiences thousands of student submissions a day and might be slower or prone to glitchesStudents choosing to travel home early to complete their finals comfortably may not have access to adequate WIFI. Alternate submission platforms such as email should be considered by professors for individual students suffering technological strains.  

Students in a team focused courses are often preparing group projects for final grading. Without being able to meet in person, occasions for holding team members accountable for contributing, are very limited, as students have the option to ignore technological communication attempts from their peers. Professors need to understand that not all students are going to contribute equally to group projects and some students are more dedicated to their grades than others. In a group setting, the student carrying the team does not have the ability to make other members contribute and professors should be lenient and appropriate when addressing group assignment concerns.  

With events of appropriate and feasible struggles this season, students shouldn’t be afraid of getting department heads involved if they feel their professors are not fairly addressing any uncontrollable situations impacting their success.  


Brooke Kruger is a Dakota Student Opinion Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]