Cell phones can cause distraction by Drew Brown

Have you ever been in the middle of taking a test and a cell phone went off? Where do we draw the line between having the need of being contacted in an emergency and the want to check Facebook every five minutes.

“Using your cell phone in the class room is a waste of time, when you’re trying to learn,” says English Professor Sharran Slinkard. “When you’re paying to be here, why would you distract yourself and others by using your cell phone in class?”

Professors and students will go back and forth when it comes to using their cell phone in the classroom.

The DMACC cell phone policy states,“ While in the classroom, turn cellular phone ringer off or set to silent upon entering any classroom, computer lab, library, office, or auditorium.”

Each student has their own opinion about the policy and if it should be changed or not. Ashley Bechtel, 18, second semester liberal art major from Ankeny says, “changing the policy wouldn’t help, it would only get worse.” On the other hand, Jeremy Wills, 23, fourth semester liberal arts major from Des Moines say, “The policy is fine as it is.”

DMACC policy also states, “Faculty members have the right to limit the use of cell phones in their classrooms.” Some instructors are stricter than others when it comes to the usage in their classroom.  “If a student needs to use their cell phone in class, it must be an emergency and if used, they must leave the room for the remainder of class,” Slinkard says.

There is always a concern with students who have children. “People have children and need their phones in cases of emergencies,” says Cherell Hayes, 21, second semester, medical assisting major from Earlham. In these cases, students can set up their phone ringer to only ring when a specific number calls them. Even though their phone may be on silent, the phone will still ring signifying it is an emergency.

The DMACC cell phone policy has been in place for nine years, says Lori Wolf, dean of student services. The policy was made on the basis of cell phones being too disruptive and cheating possibilities. The policy was made from teachers and believe it or not, students as well. “My cell phone policy is student driven,” Slinkard says, meaning her policy is made up student suggestions. To keep her policy up to date, Slinkard asks her students at the end of the semester if there is anything that needs to be added or changed.

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