UCD Classroom Etiquette


A short list of things every UC Davis student should do to be respectful to your peers and professors. More general lists of classroom etiquette, from a prof or TA perspective, can be found [WWW]elsewhere. See also UCD Email Etiquette.


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(on WS's advice to not ask questions during lectures) is ridiculous. I'm not paying thousands of dollars every quarter so I can sit silently and "politely" in lecture, not asking my questions, just to avoid offending some prick in the front row. If I've got a question and I feel like asking it, I'm damn well going to ask it. -ph

I find it ironic that this page was written with such negativity. Perhaps this should in the future be expanded to a general compendium of student etiquette for beyond the classroom, as there may be cultural differences in dealing with townsfolk, other students, and the like? ~DavidPoole

2007-01-26 09:00:08   College is a mental playground - that costs thousands of dollars. When someone says "Thank You," reply with whatever the fuck you want. —JoshFernandez

2007-01-30 17:07:38   Hmm... I was going to post a large amount of text here, but I won't. I'll just leave it at this: if you follow these guidelines, great! If not, well, you're probably just an inconsiderate slob. Myself included. —TusharRawat

2007-06-09 20:15:21   Learn the difference between affect and effect. Seriously, you were supposed to have learned that in high school. I hate reading papers where students mix them up. —AmyGoogenspa

2007-06-09 20:18:17   I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing to take a class because it fits in with your schedule. In college you don't always know what you are interested in because you haven't taken the class yet, so deciding between classes with something like class time puts in a little bit of randomness. Sometimes the randomness leads you places you never would have thought about, but end up loving. Plus, if you're not a morning person, you're not going to go to your 8 am class. —AmyGoogenspa

2007-06-09 22:17:35   I have to disagree about arriving early to class and sitting in the center. When I get there early I like to sit towards the edge of the row so I can get out faster. People can choose where ever they want to sit. —SimonFung

2007-06-28 21:01:48   Ever have that child in class who thinks he or she is not only smarter than all of the other students, but smarter than the professor as well? This is really a superclass of the children who think they are smarter than all the other students. Yes, you know who you are. You are the one who thinks the professor is having a private conversation with you. You are the one who answers 36 questions without raising your hand (I counted, jackass) and without waiting more than a femtosecond to exhibit your severe case of the verbal runs. You are Einstein reincarnate. Maybe even smarter, more like God or something. Anyway, shut up, you sound like an ass, and you are acting really stupid. The best part is that when the professor shuts you down you are too full of yourself to realize that you were just humiliated in front of 50 students who want to throw pencils through your eyes and force you to wander alone for a few years before returning.


2007-09-21 12:11:03   What about doing homework for other classes during class? I had a class where the prof covered the material rather slowly. I was one of the few people in class answering questions and participating in discussions, and was acing the quizzes without studying, but was bored most of the time in class. I felt it was the best use of my class time to quietly do homework since I had plenty of it. I was able to listen and take notes at the same time, but the teacher took offense and asked me to quit. Is doing homework in class rude in general? Do other teachers have issues with this? I feel that if I'm paying for the class and not being disruptive, how I keep my hands and mind busy is up to me. I also see how it could drive the prof nuts if I'm seemingly "not paying attention" to the lecture they've prepared. Thoughts? —~~~~ —NoahElhardt

2007-09-21 12:36:11   I hate when people pass around various materials during class, although it only happens the first week. —GregWebb

2007-09-22 02:24:12   GregWebb- When the materials gets to you, you can... 1) Put the pile of flyers on the ground in front of you and basically stop the chain 2) Yell "I got SPAM BLOCKER!" and smack the person who's passing it to you 3) Say no thank you to the person passing it to you so he's forced to direct the materials elsewhere and end up looking like an idiot. —KaiWan

2007-09-22 13:36:03   This page was getting texty, so I added condensed points in bold. Feel free to improve my summaries. The page was getting hard to read, that's all. —TaniaG

2007-11-06 00:22:57   I don't agree with the part that says you have to move to the center of a row of seats if you are one of the first to arrive in the hall. A lot of people arrive early so that they can get comfortable seats in the lecture hall, and generally speaking, the most comfortable are the ones that are along the aisles where you are guaranteed to have some breathing room (e.g. not completely surrounded by seats and other people). Thus, why should late people be rewarded with those seats?

2008-10-21 08:39:25   I agree with the above comments. The early bird gets the worm. I would arrive early at my first class of the day and sit on an end in the back so I could exit ASAP to get to my next class, to prevent being late. It takes serious time hoof it from Meyer to Young on foot! I think the reward for getting to class on time is getting to sit where you please. Just don't complain when people need to climb over you to get to their seats in the middle. —AmLin

2008-10-21 11:29:24   During my NPB 101 final (back in the day), this girl's cell phone started ringing. In the middle of the exam. It was loud and it had one of those truly obnoxious ring tones (I'm sure the owner thought it was just so cute though). Anyway, the girl did not shut it off right away. She just let it ring and ring while continuing to work on her exam.

Oh it was ridiculously awesome. —CurlyGirl26

* This one still seems open to interpretation. I personally say "no worries", and I don't think that that is a big deal. If someone complained about it, I would probably think they were reading too much into the specific phrasing of my response. As a corresponding example, it bugs the hell out of me when people say 'nukyeler' as opposed to nuclear, but I don't correct them because I know what they are going for. —JoePomidor

2008-11-12 21:16:42   I CANNOT stress enough how annoying it is to eat in class. Sometimes the smells (combined with body heat and B.O.) is so bad I feel like throwing up or passing out. I do have two out-of-classroom etiquette questions: do Professors get bothered if you ask questions through email? I don't live in Davis, so sometimes it is difficult for me to make Office Hours, so emailing my prof is a lot easier. Also, is it rude to ask a prof if you can take a test early or at a later date (early, given they have enough time to prepare, and later in the event that you are very ill)? —ArianeMetz

2011-01-20 13:19:47   THE BIGGEST concern for me is the inappropriate use of left handed desks. In a society that prides itself on equality dominant hand usage is a highly overlooked difference. It might not seem like a big deal to people who use everyday objects with their right hands without difficulty, but for a lefty like me, a left-handed desk is an invaluable resource. In most classes there are only a handful of left-handed desks out of the total number in the room; in fact, in some classes there are NO lefty desks even offered (in Olson it's often only ONE). If you are NOT left handed, DO NOT use one of these desks.


That one girl in your English class who you hear bitching about the left-handed desks every day,

2012-06-05 23:36:18   To the above comment: Wouldn't it just as hard to use a left handed desk if you were right handed? For me it makes almost no difference... —MarleyWH

2012-06-06 19:45:33   Interesting page. I'm a TA and a largely agree with most comments, although some, like where to sit, do feel a bit nitpicky. Also, I'm a lefty, and have never really had a problem with regular desks. :-)

One comment that has come up a few times is the "I pay for this so X" argument. I don't think this holds water. Paying tuition at a university is similar to holding stock in a company. You certainly have a say in how things run, but this doesn't give you license to do anything you want. Nor should you. One certainly 'pay's at a restaurant, but this doesn't justify acting however one pleases, being rude to the waiters and other guests, etc.

To close, after being here for a few quarters I've had a great experience with 99.99% of my students—it's the 0.01% that give us something to talk about. :) —Profe

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