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Unspoken '15-minute rule' may be enforced

By Kelly Higginson, For The Miami Student

It only took 15 minutes until Miami students left their classroom when the professor had not shown up, according to Associated Student Government (ASG) Off-Campus Senator Connor O'Hearn.

What many students had thought was an established "15-minute" rule was really something spread by word of mouth. O'Hearn decided to take action last Tuesday by creating a resolution supporting the creation of a 15-Minute Rule.

In O'Hearn's case, his professor had shown up after the 15 minutes and took attendance, thus punishing those who had left.

"I think it's a problem because students think it is a rule, when it's not yet," O'Hearn said.

ASG Secretary for Sustainability Initiatives Elizabeth Beumel helped draft the resolution submitted to Student Senate Nov. 4.

"We realized after the situation with Senator O'Hearn that there was a lack of accountability on the professors, as far as attendance goes," Beumel said.

The resolution states that students are expected to arrive in class on time, or some sort of penalty may be placed. However, if the students are under the impression the professor will not show up within the first 15 minutes of the class' start time, the students are free to leave once that time hits 15 minutes.

"It is mostly just trying to hold professors accountable for attendance," Beumel said.

Off-Campus Senator Shalin Shah said the resolution is the first step to establishing a ground rule for student and professor relationships.

"As students, we do care about our grades, so loosing points for attendance when the professor was the one to show up late is unacceptable," Shah said.

Currently, in the Miami Student Handbook, there are no guidelines stating how students should proceed if a teacher arrives tardy to their own class. However, professors do have formal guidelines for instructional staff attendance and absence.

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"I know the whole 15-minute rule was a rumor at first but I really do think it should be in place by the university," Beumel said. "Students really value their time here at Miami, so sitting there when no professors shows up is just a waste of time."

The proposed resolution asks that the university pursue a policy, that if a teacher is tardy more than 15 minutes without advance communication, the students will not be penalized for leaving the classroom.

The 15-Minute Rule also comes with exceptions, like if the professor knows they are going to be late to class, they should take appropriate actions in alerting the students before they show up.

ASG hopes the resolution will create a better relationship between teachers and students.

"I have confidence that they will believe that it is necessary for the bill to be put into action," Shah said.