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SEC students angry about new late door policy

By Torjus Roberg Jan 29, 2018
Students are angry with the new policy. Photo: Rikke Nylund

Students have filed a formal complaint over the implementation of a new late door policy claiming that it is too strict.

At the start of the semester, the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (SEC) put in place a late door policy which gives lecturers the right to deny access to any student arriving even a minute late to class.

This new policy has been met with anger from students as they think the policy is too strict.

Third-year pharmacy student Hayder Al-Hussaini, 23, decided to launch a survey to gather his fellow students’ opinions about the new policy after being asked to leave when arriving moments late to a lecture.

“I had a lecture at 11 am and I came into the room at 11.01 and the lecturer told me to get out,” said Al-Hussaini.

“To tell someone who is one minute late, having travelled for an hour and a half taking three trains and one bus, to get out I find very disrespectful. We cannot control the traffic but we try our very best to be on time.”

The survey has received 128 responses with 70 per cent saying that they would want to get rid of the policy.

Aiming to collect as many responses as possible, Al-Hussaini wants to complain to the dean of SEC.

Al-Hussaini said he realised that there was little chance of having the brand new policy abolished. Currently there is a ten-minute grace period for all lectures starting at 9am. The realistic goal of the campaign is to extend this grace period to all lectures, giving students ten minutes to get to their classes in case of unforeseen circumstances like traffic.

Third-year pharmacy student Asmaa Ajaj said: “The lecturers are being extremely strict about it, and in this university especially people come from all across London.

“People come from different circumstances and a person who has a twohour journey might make it on time while a person with an hour and a half travel might not purely based on the transport they use.”

The policy document circulated to SEC students said that one of the reasons for implementing the policy is to develop professional character traits such as punctuality and to minimise disturbance to the learning process.

However, according to Ajaj, it is often much more disturbing when a lecturer has to take time out of the lesson to argue with students and force them to pack up their things and leave, than if the student would be allowed to quietly sit down.

Ajaj, who travels one and a half hour to get to the university, added: “If I have paid to be in this course and I really need to attend the classes since it is important to my grade, then the lecturers should be more understanding to the circumstances because it could potentiallymean marks off my grade if I miss one particular workshop.”

According to a university spokesperson, lecturers can however let students into the lectures if they wish to at appropriate times.

This contradicts the information circulated to students and does not happen in practice as many students have been told to leave the lecture theatre when arriving late and have not been asked to wait outside until they can enter later without disturbance.

A Kingston University spokesperson told The River: “The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has introduced a ten-minute grace period for 9am lectures.

“Lecture theatres doors are not locked and tutors will always allow students to join lectures later at an appropriate time that minimises disruption to other students.

“The Faculty has a duty of care to all staff and students and, for this reason, on health and safety grounds. It is not always possible to allow latecomers in to laboratory or workshop sessions.”


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