LETTERS: A warning about smartphones; Where is the transparency in Meriden

LETTERS: A warning about smartphones; Where is the transparency in Meriden

A smartphone warning


Connecticut parents with children in college may not be aware that many professors find students’ smartphone use during classes a distraction. Numerous articles show professors’ personal smartphone policies link students' personal phone use during class to attendance and ultimately to a reduction in grades.  Professors have been doing this for years; these policies are inherently flawed and unethical.

The professor’s focus shifts from teaching to monitoring or policing smartphone use. This is not likely to diminish during the semester. This negatively alters the learning environment.

Policies addressing classroom activities must be enforced equally, without exceptions, to be fair. This means that individuals' transcripts will show lower grades or failed courses based on absences due the use of smartphones during class and not students’ ability. For example, students who never miss classes earn As, A-s, B+s and so forth for all written assignments and examinations can earn lower grades and possibly fail courses because of these poor policies.

More importantly, if such policies are adopted by other professors at the same school, it is possible that good students who violate the policy will have distorted grade point averages. This will ultimately affect job opportunities. These policies are unethical and should be abandoned. Unfortunately, this is unlikely.

Parents need to talk with their children and emphasize the importance of shutting off their smartphones during all classes, not just the ones with these policies, in order to earn good grades.

Kevin Synnott

The writer, a former Cheshire resident, is a lecturer at Eastern Connecticut
State University.

Meriden Mistakes

 Editor’s note: This letter was received before the beginning of the political letters season.

Shenanigans, One-party control, mismanagement — What do YOU call it?

Out of thin air, miraculously, a $1.5 million dollar SURPLUS is discovered by the City Council to further the proposed Hunter Golf Course banquet facility project. 

How many bidders applied for that contract?

The hit parade continues with the Meriden Markham Airport hangar project $400,000 over budget, before one shovel hits the ground. To make matters worse, our city manager declined to name contract bidders on that project because “the city is in negotiations.” Citizens have limited options for reliable dissemination of information, accurate data and project particulars. 

Stories of these magnitude deserve more public attention and better answers. Where is the transparency?

Some believe that spending tens of millions of dollars on new construction projects will make Meriden better and therefore attract people and businesses here. New buildings do not make a city “better.” Look at Meriden high school SAT scores for proof. A bigger library does not make a city better. It is the individuals of the city that make it better or worse.

Come on! Property owners in Meriden need better representation than what the Democrat-controlled City Council has been offering. Remember 95% of Meriden voters DECLARED for lower taxes in the budget referendum. In actuality, what that 95% got was a sneaky 7% increase, via departmental give-backs and reallocation of funds.

Remember all of this when voting in the municipal elections in November. Remember who’s been watching out for taxpayers’ pockets and who on the City Council actually listened to the collective “No Taxes” voice! Only new fiscally conservative candidates can stop the shenanigans show at City Hall.

 Lou Arata, Meriden