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Freshmen: Bring your manners to campus

College 101 - Checklist.jpgWelcome to the first day of freshman orientation! Today's "guest lecturer" is Ruth Davis, a computer engineering professor at Santa Clara University.

As a longtime college professor, I have noticed that today's students sometimes arrive missing some of their manners. So I send my first-year students an etiquette e-mail.

Ruth_Davis.jpgIn the spirit of sharing, here are my reasons why all college students need manners (in Letterman fashion):

Top 10 Reasons Why College Freshmen Need Manners 101

10) There is no etiquette session at orientation, and someone needs to tell these very bright young people that what may be appropriate in a text message to friends won't cut it with their professors.

9) Students should not call their professors "Sam" or "Mary" until they are told it's okay to do so. And no Mr. or Mrs.-- they should address their professors as "Dr. Smith" or "Professor Jones."

8) Most faculty members MIGHT know "LOL," but unleashing text-message jargon on them is -- well -- DEGT (don't even go there). Plus, they need to know you can spell and write a complete sentence.

7) Freshmen need to be urged to read the e-mail destined for their professor several times before pressing send. Students are used to texting at the speed of light, and you never know when DKDC (don't know, don't care) might slip through the cracks.

6) When replying to an e-mail message from a professor, first-year students should include the original for context. And they should make sure the message is going to the intended recipient(s), not mom, dad, their girlfriend or boyfriend.

5) To rid their formal writing of the personal, confidential stuff students write on Facebook walls, such information should not be included in e-mails -- especially, as they have a way of getting forwarded.

4) Freshmen must resist the urge to EWI (e-mail while inebriated; or angry). It is not a good idea at all. In fact, DEGT.

3) Freshmen need to learn to NEVER come to class with a cellphone on, never talk in class unless asked to, and give their professor their attention when asked to.

2) They need to respect faculty office hours and not always expect immediate e-mail responses.

1) They must learn to avoid procrastination and love planning.

By the way, every one of these reasons for learning manners will apply to these students' future employers.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students (especially incoming freshmen). So, make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  |  July 26, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  College 101  | Tags: Frosh Orientation, Santa Clara University  
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Comments

What does avoiding procrastination and loving planning have to do with manners?

Posted by: sarahee | July 26, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Sarahee, I imagine that avoiding procrastination (at least) allows for students to deal with issues in a timely manner. But yes, it would have been nice to have a bit of explanation there.

Posted by: Hunterwali | July 28, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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