Our View: Campus Tribulations

By: Matthew Balsinger

This fall we’ve seen a lot of positive changes here on The University of Akron campus.  There have been changes to the library, restaurants, new buildings and ultimately a better aesthetic view of the campus as a whole.

Though there have been many good changes, there have also been a number of troubling changes.  The new withdrawal policy, food price increases and many other areas warrant some concern because they are in need of vast improvement.

Each year has seen a slight increase in prices on food, almost to the point that students can expect prices to keep soaring on already expensive items.  However, this semester represents the first where there has been noticeable price increases on food, with noticeably lesser quality.  It is completely understandable that food services may need to raise prices to cover operating expenses, but there is absolutely no excuse to also decrease quality.  Both together are absolutely unacceptable.

Some of the people hit most by these changes are vegetarians.  In complete honesty, The University of Akron has never had the greatest vegetarian options on campus and they seem to be, in some ways, deteriorating.  The options that are available are often quite lax on variety and quality.   Zee’s, for example, has increased the price of their Hummus wrap $0.30 while decreasing its quality considerably.  Just because there are fewer vegetarians than non-vegetarians does not lend an excuse for having options that are lacking in care.

There is this new withdrawal policy.  All students can now withdrawal from courses using ZipLine, without the need of signatures from Sept. 5 till Oct. 9, where previously students were at least required the signature of their academic advisor, and in some cases, their professor.  This presents a problem because now students have the possibility of accidentally withdrawing from classes without meaning to, as well as allowing some students to avoid consultation all together.

The absolute most important tools for students at the University are themselves, their professors and their academic advisers.  Professors and advisers have experience helping students, know the curriculum and even tips on how to succeed in studies.  For a student to be given the power to unilaterally drop classes at will without any kind of signature, both professor and academic adviser, almost guarantees a certain percentage of students will withdraw from courses without consulting anyone.

A policy that gives students a far easier way to slip through the cracks almost seems like giving up.  It seems like accepting that some students do not care, as opposed to hoping some will come around.  All that some students need is a talk from someone of authority to turn them around.

Every aspect of a university should be about customer service and helping students, for we are customers.  From food services to advising students, all policies and changes should be made to benefit students in the long run, helping them feel welcome at the University as well helping them toward graduation.  The University has made monumental improvements and continues to do so; however, there is much more that needs to be done.