September 18, 2020

By ASHLEY WELFORD-COSTELLOE

You’re sitting in the classroom working on assignments or trying to listen to your professor give the day’s lecture. The class is quiet except for the sounds of fingers flying across keyboards or pens scratching on paper. Then it happens. Somebody’s cellphone goes off, the annoying ringtone disturbing the peace.

But is this an issue people should be concerned about? Are students spending more time on their phones in class instead of school work? Is it really that much of a distraction?

The policy for cellphones in the classroom is that all phones, pagers and personal electronic devices must be turned off and removed from the desk during class hours as a courtesy to fellow students and faculty. If someone’s phone must remain on because of an emergency situation, the student is asked to advise the professor before class begins. Any student who disrupts a class may be asked to leave the room. However, this does not always happen.

“They tell us not to have them out on the desk or anything but if someone has one on the desk they’re not going to ask you to put it away as long as you’re not using it,” said Michelle Piwowarczyk, a first-year student in the post-grad human resources management program.

Piwowarczyk said although she won’t usually react when a cellphone goes off in the classroom, she does find it distracting especially during a test.

Connie Tutty is in her second year of the early childhood education program. Her professors have a similar cellphone policy.

“We’re not supposed to have any cellphones used in the classroom,” Tutty said. “If you’re expecting a call, leave it on vibrate. Then you have to leave the class to use it.”

Although students don’t always follow this rule, instructors don’t always enforce it. Sometimes the student is asked to put his or her phone away but for the most part nothing happens.

Like Piwowarczyk, Tutty doesn’t usually react when a person’s phone goes off in class. However, she said sometimes she is tempted to just “take the phone and whip it.”