By Jonathan Rones
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The prohibition of cellphones in Camden County College classrooms affects nearly all students.
Many students consider cellphones a necessity, but teachers frown upon their use in the classroom. “It can be a distraction in class,” states Bill Lange, a U.S. history professor at the school, this week.
However, many students rely upon their phones to receive important information. Brandon Evans, a computer graphics student in his second semester, points out many of his peers have jobs that may require their supervisors to contact them during the day. While he has not seen any serious consequences for phone use, he suggests the zero-tolerance attitude many professors have is inappropriate. “It’s going too far,” he explains. “We’re all adults here.”
Not all students oppose the school’s negative attitude toward cellphone use in classrooms. Ian Stabler, a second-semester psychology student, finds the policies fair. While he uses his phone between classes, he chooses not to while they are in session. “I feel like I’m here to learn,” he elaborates.
Stabler also notes the policy differs from teacher to teacher. While he has observed several call attention to students who text during class, he has never seen a student punished for it.
Lange has had a similar experience in his two years of teaching at Camden County College. He says he has had no issues with students using their phones in his class and confirms the lack of a singular punishment for the offense. “I don’t think there’s a school policy that I’m aware of,” he states.
Without a single policy, the question of how to deal with offenders ultimately comes down to the preference of the teacher. The 2013 edition of Camden County College’s Student Handbook dictates “the primary responsibility for managing the classroom environment rests with faculty members who are authorized to remove students from class for behavior that threatens others or in any way impedes the teaching and learning process,” meaning punishment for phone use could potentially be as strict as removal from the class.
Still, the information on the individual teacher’s policy is available to students. The 2013 edition of the college’s faculty handbook requires teachers “be as specific as possible” about what constitutes misconduct and the punishment entailed. As such, the experiences of each student will differ.