Illustration. | Liam Olson
Illustration. | Liam Olson

Student Strategies: Office Hours


By | Onaja Waki

There may be times when students need that extra one on one time with their professor for things like making up assignments and exams, discussing grades or getting clarity on homework or a project. These are the reasons professors offer their students office hours. Most professors and lecturers have the days and times on their syllabus. However, not all teachers abide by their assigned office hours which sometimes makes it a hassle for students to meet with their teacher.

There are a few HSU professors that some students claim are hardly available during their office hours. However, when trying to get in contact with some of these professors for an interview they never responded.

In addition to reaching out to some of the teachers who students feel aren’t always at their office hours, a lot of HSU teachers who are always at their designated office hours responded with confidence about their abidance to their listed times.

Dan Faulk, a political science professor said that his students can always find him in Founders Hall room 118, and that he’s available even when his office hours are over.

If you asked the teacher across the hall from me, you would discover that not only am I at my office for my office hours, but that I stay until way past my office hours, if there is a line of students outside my office door, or if students want to continue a conversation past normal office hours,” Faulk said. “My office hours are always right after class, so I am always in my classroom or at my office after class.”

Spanish professor Anna Montoya said the most reliable way to set up a meeting with her is through phone or email, and that she is always open to working with students on times to meet. “The best way to get a hold of me is through email or phone,” Montoya said.“ I’m also open to setting up a time to meet.”

Faulk and Montoya are some of the many professors here at HSU who abide by their office hours making it easier for students to meet with their teacher when needed. But for students who may experience the opposite with their professor, they can

use some of these strategies students have used while on their academic journey here at Humboldt State:

Samantha Pincus

Major: Forestry Wildland Fire Management Major

“I’ve found that emailing them with two different times during their office hours that I know I can meet up works and they’ll choose one,” Pincus said. “Even though it’s inconvenient to set up a meeting, it guarantees that they’ll be available.”

College of The Redwoods Student Naiomi Leitu:

Major: Nursing

“I usually follow them after class and ask them to answer my questions right away,” Leitu said. “Or I email them on their personal email!”

Yadi Cruz

Major: Criminology and Justice Studies

“Usually emailing them before showing up to their office hours, making an appointment with them, or asking them in person what time they’re going to be there,” Cruz said.

Tre’von King

Major: Business Management

“I try emailing them ahead of time. Some teachers don’t go to their office hours because no one shows up,” King said. “If you let them know in advance then they know when and where to be.”

Jhsiri Massey

Major: Art Education

“Email the shit out of them until it’s damn near annoying,” said Massey.

Alby Alawoya

Major: International Business

“I’ve had that problem in the past and honestly I just called my teacher out in front of the class,” Alawoya said. “I also left a note on the door that said ‘students look up to you, and you’re example of keeping your word makes a difference.’ After that my professor sent an apology email to the entire class.”

Treanna Brown

Major: Criminology

“I don’t have any strategies that could get them to show up to their office hours,” Brown said. “But I do think that they should make reasonable office hours. As students we aren’t as flexible as them. We work 9-5 jobs on top of however many units we have to take during the semester. Our campus is suppose to be the place where professors are more engaged but I don’t see that as much as I did my freshman year.”

Cynthia Godinez

Major: Psychology “I don’t think I’ve had that issue,” said Godinez. “All the professors I’ve had are good with meeting with students, and if they can’t make their office hours they’ll reschedule for another time. But I think a good strategy to prevent teachers from missing their office hours could be to just talk to them and suggest that they actually be there. Or maybe talk to someone that runs their department so they can figure out why that professor can’t make their office hours.”  

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