Restrictions on laptop use in class should be eliminated

Students are required to have access to a laptop at Geneseo despite the exuberant cost. If this rule remains mandatory, professors should not be allowed to instill no-laptop policies in their classes (Courtesy of Creative Commons).

When entering Geneseo, students are asked to sign a contract with the school, stating they will adhere to the guidelines of the Student Code of Conduct. Within the Student Code of Conduct, it says it is mandatory to own or have access to a laptop to attend the college. What the college fails to recognize is that laptops cost anything from $800 to $2,000, an amount of money that most people do not have lying around. 

If this is going to be a mandatory requirement, faculty should not be allowed to institute a no-laptop policy in their syllabus. Laptops act as notebooks, textbooks, quick search boxes and much more for different students. If the textbook is cheaper online, which it normally is, the student may need their laptop to access it. When it comes to note-taking, it is much quicker to type notes out on your laptop and transfer them into a notebook later since, like professors love to point out, hand-written notes are better for memory. 

Assuming that students are doing anything other than work on their laptops is a huge generalization and, to be quite honest, not a professor’s place unless it is being reported as a disruption by other students. 

Considering these are the credits we are paying for, the responsibility lands on the students. If they want to be invested in something else during their class period, that’s their loss. 

If the college wants to make a luxury item like laptops mandatory, then students should be able to use it for anything they need. Requiring students to spend serious amounts of money on laptops in order to excel in the classes they are also paying for means the college forfeits the right to dictate how they use them. If we’re paying, we decide what we want to get out of it, for both classes and laptops. 

Plus, to carry a bag stuffed with a laptop, the charger, textbooks and notebooks for each class is ridiculous, especially considering the campus’s hilly terrain. 

Obviously, there are classes where a laptop is generally unnecessary. For example, in many classes where there are workshops and discussions, a laptop might not be needed. Yet, it is convenient to have to be able to look up something a classmate mentioned or write down a good argument for later. 

For our generation, technology is essential. We are part of the fast-access generation where any information is simply provided quickly and easily. Even pen-and-paper people can admit they get tired of the countless papers and discussions, making a laptop a must-have item. 

Nevertheless, there is still the “don’t open it up in class” lecture every syllabus week. Some professors even stop class just to ask a student what they are doing on their laptop, inventing a disruption on their own. 

We are in college, a choice we made. If we are participating, handing in the assignments and doing decent on our exams, how we have access to things like notes and textbooks should be up to us, not our instructors. We are the ones paying, so what works for us, as long as no academic honesty policy is being broken, should be solely up to us.