Written by: David Sickels
The city of Akron is a city with a reputation. Akron will always be known in a broad sense for certain things, for better or for worse – rubber, Devo, polymer science, the home of LeBron, the Hower House, the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, The Black Keys, blimps.
I know Akron in a different light, though; I’m sure you do as well. We all have our own stories and memories of this place. Particular smells, sights and sounds will always remind me of Akron. For me, graduation attire will soon be added to this list.
With fewer than two weeks until I don the ol’ cap ’n gown, now is the time for reflection. I have made many friends in both peers and professors, and these are people I will not soon forget. These people are people I can confidently say that I trust. These trusted advisers and professors have guided me in my journey through the world of academia, and I cannot thank them enough.
With that being said, The University of Akron sometimes frustrates me. I have noticed a strong disconnect between the students and those at the top of the totem poll. Students are passionate, and some of us have great ideas when it comes to improving our school.
These students can have their voice heard through the Buchtelite, which is a fantastic medium to make them heard, but sometimes a newspaper article isn’t enough. Sometimes, no matter how loudly students scream for change, the proper administration is simply too busy to listen.
I’m not asking for every student’s whim to be obliged. I’m asking for all administration to keep one ear to the ground.
Another frustration that I have is that sometimes no one seems to know the answer to questions about my academic future. Due to my SAT scores in high school, I was fortunate enough to have some of my general education classes waived when I came to this university as a freshman. This “fortune,” though, is something that would haunt me until my senior year.
My DARS wouldn’t recognize the waived classes. As a result, every semester when it came time to register for classes, I “didn’t have the proper prerequisites.” I had to go to each department, one by one, explain my situation and have them bypass the situation. According to multiple faculty and administration, there was no fix to this problem. It was something I would have to deal with. That is ridiculous. This is my future; I don’t have time or money to waste running in circles.
Overall, my experience with the faculty at The University of Akron has been fantastic. I have met professors who treat their students like their family. I’ve had professors recommend me for scholarships and awards without me asking them to, or even knowing about it. I’ve seen this happen to other deserving students as well. This is the reason I love this university.
I couldn’t care less about some of the parties, events and spectacles that some university administration spends our tuition dollars on. I appreciate the thought that I must be entertained throughout the year; it makes me feel important. But when it comes down to it, those aren’t the things I’ll miss about this university when I leave.
I will miss the professors who were willing to stay after class with me, the ones who gave me career advice and the ones whom I plan to model myself after when I arrive in the real world.
Bottom line: give good professors the money being spent on one-time shows. They deserve it, because they’re the ones who not only know what they’re doing, but they also love doing it.