Slumping student work ethic

Recently, university students were ordering graduation photos and preparing for their convocation ceremonies.

BRIANNA HEINRICHS AND ROD CLIFTON

GUEST COLUMNISTS

Recently, university students were ordering graduation photos and preparing for their convocation ceremonies.

However, parents would recall a different university experience than their children will.

Now, less is expected of students, both academically and behaviourally. The professional work ethic on campus is disappearing. Today, it is common for students to address their professors by their first names and not with the honorific titles ‘Professor’ or ‘Doctor.’

Many professors report receiving e-mails from students with messages such as, “I can’t hand my essay in till Friday. I would like it returned by Monday. If you have any problems, send me an email.”

Professors even have parents call them to explain why their child’s assignment was not handed in on time.

The dean at an eastern Liberal Arts College reportedly said, “The same way that some people say 60 is the new 40, 21 is the new 16.”

Universities have no dress code. In business, law, and medicine, there are standards of dress. But in other faculties, anything goes.

Far too many professors also dress in sloppy jeans and t-shirts.

Frequent drinking and partying are very common, but perhaps a more recent phenomenon is the popular ‘Sex Week’ or ‘Pride Week’ held annually on a number of campuses.

The University of Calgary offered the ‘Know Your ‘O’: Orgasm Info for Women’ workshop.

The University of Saskatchewan hosted a ‘Carnival of Sex,’ and tickets to the event could be won by finding one of the five golden condoms hidden on campus.

Students may believe it is okay to miss lectures, because they expect lecture notes for their courses will be posted online, so they do not need to worry about paying attention in class. Even when students attend class, they are often texting or browsing the Internet.

People are concerned that cheating and plagiarizing are becoming more common.

Though academic misconduct is officially condemned, simply typing “Paper writing service” into a search engine will result in businesses eager to write essays for students.

The increasing number of university students is partly to blame for the deteriorating atmosphere.

University enrolment has increased from 113,864 full-time students in 1960 to 847,980 full-time equivalent students in 2009.

Universities have taken tuition fees and grants without first determining if they are ready to do academic work.

Students should not attend university because their parents are paying for it or because their friends are enrolled.

Employers like to know that graduates are educated and ready for a professional career and did not just have a good time for four years.

Brianna Heinrichs is a research assistant at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Rod Clifton is an emeritus professor and Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre. Their columns are distributed through Troy Media.