The Merciad

Lack of respect between students and faculty needs to be addressed

Amber Matha, Staff writer

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More often than not, I feel disrespected by professors on campus. I understand that I am a student and I do not have the years of academic experience of a professor.

However, I am in the process of gaining the experience I need, and that, I feel, deserves some recognition. In recent events, I have felt like my needs were being ignored, I have felt personally insulted and have been witness to my peers being disrespected behind their backs.

To be clear, not every professor is guilty of this disrespect and I have had many fond encounters with faculty, but the instances of disrespect make me less likely to go to these particular professors for assistance. I feel that the reason respect for students is on the decline is due to the equal lack of respect some students tend to have for our professors.

I ran into an issue where a piece of my work was insulted by a professor who did not allow me to explain fully myself. I work very hard to produce the best end product that I can in all of my classes and extracurricular activities, and most people who know me know this to be true. I take serious offense to insults on my work because of the extreme level of effort I put into what I do.

Because of this incident, I have considered not putting in as much effort into my work where this situation occurred. However, that is not in my personality and I cannot bring myself to do so. Rather, I find that I am working just as hard in spite of this disrespect to prove that my work is above such a low criticism.

I know that my mindset on being disrespected is not shared among most of my peers. Many students, when feeling disrespected by a faculty member, will reciprocate the action and the situation snowballs into negative feelings between professor and student.

I believe that there must be a unified effort to bring the level of respect for both students and professors back to a professional level. Students are here to learn from professors and to be raised up in understanding, not to be torn down for their ignorance. Likewise, professors deserve respect for spending their time enlightening students with their knowledge. We are all scholars and should treat each other as such.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Lack of respect between students and faculty needs to be addressed”

  1. Maria on October 28th, 2015 5:35 pm

    The lack of specifics here makes me wonder what you mean by “disrespect”. Was it just poorly worded comments on a paper? Was it an insult that needs to be reported? Is it something a simple conversation can fix? Is this something other students experience from this specific professor? Education is partnership. Students and professors both have responsibilities here. Personally, I have been to known to misunderstand intent for a variety of reasons. I have also been known work hard and still produce something that isn’t good for a variety of reasons. My pride was hurt, but the feedback was fair. Further conversation with the professor quickly clarified the situation.

    Did you give the professor a chance to explain their feedback to you? Perhaps they meant something different than you thought. Perhaps they were having a bad day. Perhaps they have experience in the field and are trying to get you used to the kind of feedback you will get in the real world. Perhaps they just have no idea how they are coming across. You mentioned in this article you would have liked to have that chance. So, the right thing to do is treat them the way you want to be treated. That way everyone can learn better.

    If they are being truly disrespectful that will also come out in a conversation, and could give you more evidence if you need to bring a complaint. The point is, going to talk to the professor will help you, help the professor, and help your grade. Writing a general op-ed won’t.

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Lack of respect between students and faculty needs to be addressed