Monday, August 31, 2015

“People dancing, people laughing, A man selling ice cream, singing Italian songs.” From the Tuba Playing Prof.

It's Move-In Day, a day that takes three days. I understand that students duped into living on campus are our best customers because on top of the ever-rising tuition they pay (that comes with the ever-rising reliance on “contingency” faculty), they rent living spaces, buy meals, and rent parking spaces. After all, it's more money than the students we now refer to as “just commuters” fork over.

And Move-In Day is the latest “event” planned by the new vice president for.....I forget the title. The “residents” (that group of people we once called students), their parents, siblings, and significant others (many who apparently now stay the entire weekend in the new “conference center,” the latest hotel from a national chain that has “partnered” with the university), enjoy several “start-UP! sessions,” meals, and “funtime” activities. The college president addresses them, a sign of just how important these residents are to our “campus community.” The current president has never attended a department or college meeting, so these residents are clearly important. Across campus, there are welcome banners, “Ask ME! Volunteers,” music playing, free water, information booths, and other festive, joyous, brightly colored, meaningful, freaking awesome, helpful things.

As I jogged by campus today, I was moving faster than a long line of trucks and cars with trailers filled with necessary stuff bought at Best Buy, Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, etc, I realized that this particular traffic jam was headed to the Juniors dorms, not the new freshmen dorms across campus and curiously across the street from a collection of dodgy bars. These Juniors dorms are where twenty-year-old college juniors reside. I know that everything is for most of these young people and their parents an event---from graduation from Kindergarten, to school “dances,” to “campus-tour vacations,” to moving into freshmen dorms. Why is moving into one's dorm room for hur junior year an event?

Yet as I jogged on, here's the thing that mostly annoyed me as a “teaching faculty member” (or in words no one will say “just a teacher”): I know that among these students “moving in” at least one will be in one of my MW classes. And as such hur final exam will be scheduled on the very last day of the fall semester, always a Monday (because of Labor Day), the day after mandatory “move out,” the last Sunday of the semester so that the staff can “process” before the semester break—that lasts five weeks.

A few days before December 21st, I will get some form of this email: “Professor, I have to move out by Sunday, and I have no place to stay, so I need to take the final early before my parents come here to move me out.”

Once again I will email the latest newest admin in charge to point out the conflict that residents have between their living spaces and their academic careers; sometime in late January, I'll get once again the terse explanation that the staff needs the time to “process” the dorms for the upcoming Spring Semester.


5 comments:

  1. If ever there were a demonstration of university administration as a self-important nuisance, of no use to anyone aside from themselves, this is it. And of course, the real pisser is how much the bloated staff costs to do this "processing."

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  2. Hmm. . .another area where my university has actually managed to behave in a reasonably sane manner. Although the admins are very proud that we're now officially a residential university (>25% of students live on campus!), I don't think they'd do this.

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  3. Which, needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), is nuts.

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  4. I have written this post three times now (user error). Blah, Blah, Blah. So, the residence hall makes people move out before the end of the semester? What the fuck? I am used to the "but mom and dad bought the tickets already and I have to leave the Tuesday of finals week," excuse. But a school created problem like that? *smacks head on table*

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