Wow, the shit hit the proverbial fan, didn't it? Of course, I am referring to the "60 Minutes" expos‚ on higher education and our beloved UA. I can understand why the administration and members of the faculty are upset. "60 Minutes" came in here and managed to make the hundred million dollar business that the UA is look like the administrators come from the Cracker Jack School of Administration and professors from Romper Room. I know that it would piss me off if I belonged to either one of those groups.
But, the fact is, I do not belong to either of those groups. I am just an undergraduate engineering student. As an undergraduate, I can identify with the basic point that "60 Minutes" was trying to make. That is, in the dog-eat-dog world that is academe, it is every man for himself. Of course, the consequences of this system is that the students are also left to fend for themselves.
Believe it or not, it is possible to take very good classes, taught by very good professors, here at the UA. The trick is, you have to search these classes out. The administration has done a credible job of putting together a respected faculty. Dr. Pacheco and his stoolie Sypherd have even gone so far as to insist that research-oriented members of the faculty actually see the inside of the classroom every once in a while. What the administration has not done is to hold the hand of every undergraduate on campus while they select their classes. Not only haven't they done that, but it is not their responsibility to do that. Since just about every undergraduate on campus is an adult, I believe that it is time we acted like adults. This means, we need to stop waiting for the administration to spoon-feed us through our paces and take a little responsibility for ourselves. This means that we should take the responsibility for our own educations. The resources are here, we just have to find them and make them work for us.
So, "60 Minutes" did have a point when they demonstrated that the system is not everything that it could, or maybe even should, be. I would recommend a little caution before we go out and lynch the administration for not spoon-feeding us.
Eli L. Massey
Mechanical Engineering Senior
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