Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Visitors On Campus

What is your school's policy regarding visitors on campus--specifically, former students?

Our school's policy is, on the surface, rather benign:
1. All visitors must go first to the office and get a guest pass.
2. Visitors must have prior approval from a teacher before visiting a teacher's class.
I can see a strong argument for both of those rules. I may not agree with the arguments, but I can acknowledge that the arguments are not silly on their face and that the policy is not exceedingly out of bounds.

In practice, though, the rule leaves a bit to be desired.

This is apparently Spring Break season for many colleges and universities across the nation, and many of our students are returning home for a few days. Today a couple of students popped in to say hello.

Neither of them had real prior approval from me, although I do tell all my graduating seniors that they can come see me at any time; that's prior approval, but if anyone used that argument I'm sure my administration would change the rule to specific prior approval as opposed to general. I think it's great that graduates come back and see us, and let current students know what's in store for them after graduation; it seems silly to lose out on that because they didn't email me last week.


Anonymous said...

"What is your school's policy regarding visitors on campus--specifically, former students?"

As a practical matter, often these policies are only in place so that if someone is causing trouble, they can be excluded from campus. The difference between theoretical and practical implementation ...

-Mark Roulo

Ellen K said...

Darren, I have to disagree with you. While in most cases it's great to see former students, you know as well as I do that there are some students who would return to their former alma mater just to create problems. We had incidents like this last year when one of our students took off during lunch with a former student and didn't return. Parents were upset, administrators were upset and it was the result of allowing former students unlimited access. If you come into a business of any kind, you have to check in at the desk. As a matter of courtesy, I would prefer students not come barging into the middle of a class.

Darren said...

If I'm busy when students come in, I usually ask if they can come back in some short amount of time.

Then again, the kids who are going to come see me are *not* the ones who are going to be troublemakers or be disruptive in one of my classes.

Like I said, I understand the arguments. I see why they work in general, but they don't work for me in particular.

Steve USMA '85 said...

I've gone back to see some of my teachers 20 years after graduation. I think it makes their day as much as it does mine.

Unfortunately, the last teacher who was there when I was retired last summer. He was a first year teacher when I had him for science. I sent him a congratulations email upon his retirement.