The cell phone age, in which most Simpson students grew up, is one of ever-increasing convenience and swifter means of communication. However, the latest in telephone technology is not without its classroom hangups.
“Cells can do pretty much anything but walk your dog and make your coffee in the morning,” Marci Carrasquillo, assistant professor of English, said. “It makes sense that people are so in love with them. On one hand, I really hate cells, but on the other, they’re pretty darn useful, especially for those of us who travel a lot.”
According to Carrasquillo, this faster, easier communication comes with a new set of rules and etiquette.
“Texting, taking calls and leaving phones on are absolute shows of disrespect, and not just to instructors,” Carrasquillo said. “It isn’t fair to those students in the classroom who are trying to focus on learning to be distracted by such nonsense. There’s a time and a place for texting, phoning and being social, but not in class.”
For those who do not think to leave texting and calls outside of class, some course syllabi specifically describe professors’ feelings on the presence of phones and the consequences for using them in respective classes.
Despite syllabi warnings and verbal opinions on cell phones from professors, some students continue to not only have their phones turned on and capable of ringing audibly, but also use them.
“I’ve never had any problems with professors over my phone,” freshman Danielle Caswell said. “I’m sneaky.”
When it happens to be the case that savvy, under-the-table texters are not so stealthy, most everyone in a class-most critically, the professor- is made aware of it, either by the buzzing of the tiny, conspicuous motor, or by means of some pop music jingle.
“In the past several years, cell phones have been ringing more often, in more annoying ways and students seem to be less embarrassed about it,” Mark Gammon, assistant professor of religion, said.
Amid the din of faculty reactions remains the particularly-quiet mass of those who not only silence their phones, but keep them out of class, entirely.
“I very rarely have my phone out of my bag during class,” sophomore Mike Christensen said. “When I do, I always make sure it’s on vibrate during lectures.”
Students are not the only source of blame when it comes to ill-timed ringtones. The risk of becoming an artificial noise source in class is a shared experience.
“Professors should be just as accountable as students on the cell phone issue,” Gammon said.
Instructors have various methods for dealing with cell phone interruptions, some being more severe and humiliating than others. Some responses to the cell phone issue bear a lighter edge.
“Require people to wear scarlet Ps,” Gammon said. “If the shame factor does not work, maybe stocks.”