Our school this school is disgraceful. Nothing is quite as it should be.
Top to bottom minute details to ultimate purpose academics to semantics, the University has a lot of work to do if it wants to truly realize what it claims to be all about.
I don”t see all of what goes on. I am one student and my scope is limited.
I”m not involved in every organization I don”t know every student and faculty member I don”t take every class nor am I enrolled in every college. I have spent less than two years here, but I”ve seen some things in the classroom and elsewhere that trouble me and my $20,000-plus tuition.
O.K. First things first: I lived in South Quad my freshman year and the elevators don”t work. The elevators don”t work in South Quad!
Insignificant as that may seem, that should raise eyebrows. I didn”t need to come to the University for the bum elevators. I could have found some podunk college in Pennsylvania (that”s where I”m sort of from) if I was looking for that. I came here because I expected excellence: in the classroom, on the playing field, and yes, in the residence halls.
The South Quad elevators were a constant disappointment. The arrows point down when the car is going up. At least one of the two elevators on a given side of Squad was always dysfunctional. This was not just a temporary thing, either. I visit friends in South Quad this year and I”m greeted by the same thing. The elevators ought to work just fine.
The failures don”t end on East Madison Street though. Angell Hall is a wreck these days and the construction is only partly to blame. While I can appreciate the University”s effort to renovate and expand the principal building on Central Campus, I have a hard time reconciling the inconveniences it causes.
For a long time, there was no real way to get into the building from the Diag. Now it”s just a tiresome eyesore, and the sounds of sawing and drilling echo throughout the classrooms of Angell a constant distraction.
Fix Angell, but don”t do it all in one shot. Work on it a little over the summer, maybe some at night. But don”t sacrifice a healthy academic environment for the expedient construction of a building.
Once inside, things aren”t always better. I had a sociology professor last semester (class of approximately 20) who did not know the name of a single student. He was a seemingly intelligent sociologist who was the most worthless and ineffective teacher that I”ve ever had.
My friend recently asked an English professor of his to write him a recommendation for study abroad program. The response from the professor was that he couldn”t, as he had “already met his quota of recommendations for the year.”
There are GSIs who cannot communicate properly. It is not enough that he/she can just barely speak English. They are the students” link to the professor, and to the material. They are each an intermediary communication should be their greatest asset. I have been blessed by never having encountered such a GSI (I”m an English major, and I”m not even quite sure where North Campus is), but my friends tell me that they legitimately can”t understand a word from their G.S.I.s.
We use the Frieze Building at all.
Wolverine Access. At least there seems to be some progress being made. The online registration arrived, and as much as I miss the soothing guidance of the CRISP lady, that aspect of University life is improved. But this closing down at midnight business? Come on. When do they think I”m awake? When do they think I have time to be messing around with my schedule? Why would a service like Wolverine Access ever be closed?
There”s much more bitching to be voiced but there is only so much that can fit on this page. This is a smattering a sampling of the sorts of things are not right. We all have our beefs these are some of mine. For the money we spend and for the name that we have, things should run a little more smoothly.
It”s miserable to ever have to second-guess one”s decision on attending a given college, especially when it comes to simple matters that shouldn”t even be issues. We”re the University of Michigan let”s act like it.
David Horn”s column runs every other Friday. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.