Firing senior design team members

Wouldn’t it be great to have the ability to fire a group member? Especially for senior design; one of the largest, most stressful, and important projects of your Mines career. For a project based class, there is not enough influence on your peer’s grades and too many students are not contributing to the team as much as they should.

Senior Design is one of the most important classes of your college career. It’s already busy and stressful, why would you want to have additional work because some teammates are slacking off. Slacking off when the group depends on your contributions is not appropriate and incredibly frustrating. This is not behavior that graduating seniors should be demonstrating, nor should this behavior be reinforced through the grading system. Having the ability to “fire” a teammate would serve as motivation to actually participate in, and contribute to, group projects.

Although it may be obvious when a team member is not contributing enough, they may not realize this. Many students do not realize that they are not participating enough or realize that they are having a negative contribution to the project. Therefore, this firing process could not be out of the blue.

The teammate would not instantly be voted off the island. Ideally after one or two warnings, if their behavior has not improved, they would be kicked off the team. This allows them to realize that not contributing to the project will not be tolerated in senior design. It’s not EPICS or your LAIS class; senior design is the capstone course of your college career. Poor behavior should be discouraged by both the team and faculty advisor. Action should be taken when a team member is just dead weight, or making matters worse by treating your team with little respect. Firing a team member should not be done by one individual either. It should be a group consensus, brought to the faculty advisor’s attention, and then the poor group member could be voted off the team.

Let’s be honest.. Senior design is a required course and getting kicked off your team would delay your graduation. That sucks, but if five of your peers are upset to the point where they would go through the firing process, then you probably shouldn’t graduate anyway. Being able to work on teams is critical to your career and future. If it is not demonstrated by your senior year in college that you can work within a team, then you shouldn’t be allowed to enter the industry working world. It’s embarrassing. Employers hire you because of your education. Colorado School of Mines is a renowned school and having this type of behavior in your career gives the school a bad reputation. It’s not just embarrassing for you, but the entire school and your peers. You represent Colorado School of Mines, after all.

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