Ten Lecture Hall Etiquette Tips

By Jimmy Preston
Web Content Contributor

*KTSW consists of and respects varying opinions within its staff. Opinion articles do not reflect the opinion of KTSW as a whole.

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During the course of one’s collegiate career it is nearly impossible to avoid taking a class held in a lecture hall. The classes that utilize these rooms are normally required courses and they fill up fast and the seats in the hall are coveted by all. Regardless of the subject matter, attending a class in the lecture hall can be challenging. To successfully navigate the semester, the course curriculum with high marks and maintain your sanity, the following rules should be adhered to.

1. Arrive early.

These classes fill up fast, and if your preference is to sit close to the front of the auditorium you will need to be there as soon as the prior class lets out.

2. Raise your hand or shut up.

In the politically correct world that we live in, it is important to note that if you have a condition which hinders your ability to refrain from random verbal outbursts you are excused from rule #2. Raising your hand, however, will help you stay off the professor’s “People to Fail” list. There is nothing more frustrating than an independent lecturer adding their two cents and interrupting the lecture.

3. Read the material before class so you don’t look and sound like a dummy.

Everyone else read it, or at least has the good sense not to ask how earthquakes happen, when the reading assignment was the chapter on plate tectonics. If you refuse to read the material, then save your questions for office hours. This isn’t an open-mic.

4. If you arrive late, be stealthy.

Get your stuff in order before you enter, your coat, your coffee mug, your satchel, etc. Prepare yourself for a quiet entry, with as little disruption as possible. If there is a seat on the aisle, take it, this is not the day that you sit with your friends in the middle. If this continues to be an issue, see #5.

5. Don’t arrive late.

Besides absenteeism, tardiness is a great way to get noticed by the professor for all the wrong reasons. If you have ten minutes between classes, make good use of the time, and hustle your butt!

6. Turn off your stupid phone.

Does this even need to be mentioned? Turn it off, or at least silence the ring. If you have it set to vibrate, have it close at hand so you can stop the vibrating.

7. Make your questions relevant.

Keep the questions to the material you read and the current or past lectures. This isn’t just YOUR time. You are not the center of the universe. This class may not be an elective to some of your classmates, they may legitimately be interested in the subject matter. Nobody wants to hear your dumb stories.

8. Your snacks can wait an hour and a half.

Unless it’s a quiet snack, eat it before or after class. If you weren’t running your mouth between classes, you would have been on time and your stomach wouldn’t be making T-Rex sounds.

9. Fill the middle.

If you follow all the rules then maybe you already do this. When you show up to class, sit in the middle of the row you chose, filling from the middle out to the sides. This courtesy will go a long way to reduce the disruption caused by the truants in our midst.

10. Seriously, shut your mouth!

If you follow these rules, you will be able to get through the semester smoothly and you won’t attract the ire of the professor come grading time. Sometimes the difference between an A and a B can be fraction of a percentage point. If the decision to round up or rounds down is influenced by your lecture hall etiquette then the prudent move is to err on the side of courteous.

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