Give Them Your Hand and They'll Take Your Whole Arm

It was the first week of school as I was sitting in class and noticed the girl in front of me using her phone to look at the syllabus that the professor had posted online.

The professor took a glance at her and immediately told everyone that she did not want to see anyone using any electronics in class for the rest of the semester.

Many professors at Santa Monica College are very strict when it comes to using phones in class. As a student, I’ve witnessed several cases where phones have been taken away or people have been kicked out of their class for using their phones or answering emergency calls.

“This is college not high school and we are adults, we should be able to use our phones in class if we want to,” said SMC student Luis Nunez.

Cell phones are a big part of a college student’s life. Students use them for everything; from communicating with people, to using the internet for homework, books or even research.

It shouldn’t be a problem to use our phones in class, as long as we use them responsibly because they can actually be a great resource for us.

Christopher Meeks, an adjunct professor for the English department, understands first hand what it is like to misjudge a student's cell phone use in class.

“If you would have asked me yesterday, I would have said, 'Students shouldn't use phones in the classroom,'' said Meeks. "However, today in one of my classes, a student was discussing the story we had read, and as she was talking, she kept looking down at her phone and swiping the screen. I was about to tell her to not look at her email in class especially while she's talking to us, when I realized the story was on her phone's screen. She was referring to the book. I had to laugh to myself, realizing this is the new age."

Having our phones in class can be beneficial not only for class assignments but also for emergencies.

With so many incidents going on during past semesters, such as bomb threats and the campus shooting, it is important that students have their phones out in class in case of any emergency calls from family, friends, or SMC's alert system.

It can be a great gain for students to be able to have our phones out in class and use them for assignments. Unfortunately, there are students that decide to misuse their phones for texting and emailing during class. This is why many professors decide its best to not let students use their phones in class at all.

“Students have been asked in the beginning of the semester as they come into the room that they should turn off their phones during the entire class period,” said math professor Betty Wong.

Students are adults and should be treated as adults by allowing phone use in class, but students should also learn how to behave like adults as well. If students use cell phones responsibly in class, perhaps professors would be more lenient in letting them use cell phones.

Just like the old saying goes, let's make sure to appreciate the hand we're given, without taking the entire arm.