By Anne Parker
It is the job of college and university professors and faculty to set a good example for the students in attendance. They are our leading example of how to behave in the real world as well as the work place.
Now, I am not saying that they are our only example, nor am I saying we have to do and be the type of people they are. But, I am saying that, we, as students, look up to professors and faculty as mentors, heroes and examples. It then becomes the professors’ and faculties’ responsibility to make sure they are setting forward good examples, instead of bad. Just like it is their job to teach us academically, it is also their job to teach us socially.
For the most part KU faculty do a great job of this. In my time here at KU, I have interacted with wonderful professors and faculty. I even consider many of them good friends. There are an overabundance of wonderful people employed at KU, and they do their job miraculously. They teach their students academically but also how to behave appropriately in the workplace, how to interact with colleagues and even how to interact with conflicts in the work place, all while keeping a pleasant attitude and demeanor.
The problem, however, is that there are many that do not do this. In fact, they do quite the opposite. We as students, are at a very impressionable time in our life, and unfortunately, the bad often sticks more than the good. I am not speaking for all students, or even, necessarily myself, but some out there will unknowingly follow these bad examples.
I personally have been witness to these bad examples and have even been victim to it. I do not wish to point fingers, and by no means will I name any names. However, one example of a professor setting a bad example would be slamming the door to another’s classroom because the noise was too loud. The noise issue can be understandable, however, you simple have to close the door. You do not need to slam it obnoxiously. Unfortunately, this has happened many times in my experience alone.
A further example would be coming into another’s class and orally assaulting the students and professor within about noise. Noise includes moving chairs, watching a video or class discussion. I personally, have witnessed this countless times. There is no reason so come in to another’s classroom and be so abrasive. If it is too loud for you to teach, by all means, please say something. Everyone deserves the best possible teaching and learning environment. However, do so politely. Come in and ask if we can please turn down the video, quiet our discussion or pick up the chairs. There is no need to be rude or nasty over it.
Furthermore, follow what you preach. Doing the same thing you just complained about seems intentional and childish.
One more, of many examples, would be faculty attacking students via social media. If a faculty member or professor is using social media to interact with students, then they need to do so responsibly, therefore teaching us to use it responsibly. What goes onto the internet is there forever. I personally have witnessed a faculty member attacking students over their complaints about the snow and snow removal on campus. Stress is high during that time, and students have a right to voice their concerns without being told “instead of bitching you should be saying thank you,” or that “you aren’t in high school anymore. Grow up and stop blaming KU.”
This kind of language is inappropriate to begin with. Once you add in the fact they are faculty and therefore representative of KU as a whole, it is downright unacceptable. This is setting an example of how to behave, and it is not the right way. I hope these professors and faculty realize the harm they can cause and learn to set a better example. As for all the wonderful professors and faculty who set the right example, please know that you are much appreciated. Please keep up the good work and setting such noble examples for the students of KU.