Here are some tips for proper etiquette at a university:

Face-to-face Meetings and Greetings

  • Use the formal form of address (“Dr. Smith” or “Professor Jones”). Do not use Mr., Mrs., or Miss and NEVER their first names!
  • Knock before opening any door
  • Even if open, stay out of a private office unless/until invited in
  • Always announce your presence ("hello," "excuse me" etc.)

Communicating with Instructors

  • Follow their individual instructions
  • Office hours is where you’ll find the nice instructors
  • Email [described in more detail below]
  • After class if they invite you but not before
  • NEVER
    • Drop in without an appointment out of office hours
    • Phone outside of business hours
    • Catch them on the fly if you happen to bump in to them

Emails to Instructors or any other OSU official

  • Use your ONID account
  • Put Course, and/or reason for email in subject heading
  • Address formally (“Dear Dr. Jones”)
  • Identify yourself (“I am Frank Bernieri”)
  • Describe your status in detail (“I am in your MWF 4pm section of PSY 202”)
  • Summarize communications completed to this point (“We talked last Friday after class and you told me to email you.”)
  • State why you are writing (“I’d like to schedule an appointment to meet with you.)

Lecture Behavior (a formal music recital)

  • Arrive on time (if you walk in after it begins then you owe the instructor an apology)
  • Stay in your seat (if you stand up or change your seat then you owe the instructor an apology)
  • Stay until dismissed (if you close your notebook, stand up, or put on your coat before being dismissed then you owe the instructor an apology)
  • Do not talk (if you talk or whisper during class then you owe the instructor an apology)
  • If you consume any drink or food without first getting permission then you owe the instructor an apology
  • If you have an open newspaper or are reading anything other than your Psychology text, then you owe the instructor an apology.
  • If you battle sleep then you’ll look silly and will be hilariously distracting and thus, will owe the instructor an apology

Asking Questions

  • Generally, questions are GOOD!
  • Repeat points you did not hear, see, or understand
  • Clarify things you do not believe
  • To simply question “why”
  • Some questions are BAD!
    • When answer is on the syllabus (this is the worst)
    • When they are personal (you, classmates, or instructor) unless invited to ask this kind

Student Entitlements

  • An instructor who shows up, on time, and teaches
  • Communication and time with instructor
  • Answers to your questions
  • Fair treatment
  • Fair reasonable grading schemes
  • A class that conforms to the syllabus

Students are NOT entitled to:

  • Passing grades because they need them (to graduate, to avoid probation, to keep financial aid, etc.)
  • Grades they feel they have earned
  • Miss class without penalty or consequences because they need to (wedding, vacation, job interview)
  • Miss exam without penalty or consequences (because the need to or because it was an accident)
  • Passing grades because they either attended every class, or did every assignment
  • Easier grading standards because their life is more demanding than most students (e.g., single mother of 3, working full time, taking care of your sick parents, lost an arm, wrecked car, etc.)