University Education: Why The Lack Of Accountability?

I had the BEST day a few months ago! First, I went to the movies and the theatre decided to do the viewers a favour by stopping the movie twenty minutes early. SCORE! With all the extra time my friends and I had, we decided to go grab a beer. Well it must have been one of our birthdays or something because the bartender decided to fill our glasses only halfway! AMAZING! Why can’t everyday be like this? I wish that just once – JUST ONCE – I could get a nice sandwich maker at Subway who would brighten my day by only giving me 9 inches of the 12 inch sub I order… Alas, to live in a perfect world.

It’s not all bad, though. At least I and my fellow students are fortunate enough to have instructors who sometimes do us the favour of ending class early, canceling the odd lecture here and there, and maybe even going on strike (faculty at my school, the University of Western Ontario, are teetering on the brink of a walkout/lockout)! That last one is a rarity, but it’s one of those things where you just kind of feel good when it happens, even if it doesn’t happen at your school. It’s good to know that good things still happen, y’know?

This all sounds ridiculous, of course. If theatres started cutting movies short, or if a food/beverage establishment only gave you a portion of what you ordered and paid for, you wouldn’t be happy. You’d be shocked and rightfully pissed off. You did not get what you paid for and you’d have a good mind to ask for at least a partial refund.

Contrast this with the situation in university education, where paying students (including me) are apparently universally pleased to be let out of class early or have a class canceled, and are sometimes even welcoming of a short lived academic strike. Lets use a little bit of folk behavioural economics to speculate as to why so many students love to get less than what they paid for when it comes to school.

Read on and leave comments at my new blog, Death By Trolley.

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