Posts Tagged ‘Staff opinion’

Granted, they are granite counter tops

April 17, 2011 1 comment

Staff Opinion

With all of the new developments happening on campus, it’s clear that Young Harris College is coming into its own as a newly-transformed four-year institution. Enrollment is steadily growing with each year. New majors are being added to meet the increased enrollment. New faculty and staff are hired by the dozen to fill the demand for education.

Along with this growth comes construction. Last year marked the opening of Enotah Hall to much fanfare. Students were given the opportunity to live in an eco-friendly, modern building.

However, this living comes at a price, as the cost of living is quite a bit more than the other residence halls on campus.

This coming fall, yet another new residence hall will open on campus, the Senior Village. Senior Village will provide students with a fully-furnished, apartment-style housing option meant to prepare them for living after college.

However, with the new addition comes trade-offs. As students welcome Senior Village as a new housing option, Winship Hall will be going “offline.”

In other words, Winship Hall will still be on campus in the fall, but it will be empty and out of commission.

Winship Hall is being closed due to the fact that it is old and outdated. The College has been trying to close Winship Residence Hall for some time now. While many may think that is a step in the right direction, it may create a problem with housing more students next school year.

This issue raises a question. Where are students going to sleep?

In a time where people are pinching pennies, the cost of living is increasing. Granite counter tops demonstrate the elegance of the Senior Village; however they are not practical for college students and speak directly to the impracticality of the decision to install granite counter tops where they are not necessary. I do not even have granite counter tops in my kitchen at home. For the price you will pay for housing in Senior Village, you could go to KSU with tuition, room and board, and campus fees paid for.

Winship was considered Tier 1 housing. Senior Village will be considered its own sector of housing. There is a significant price difference in the two.

Since the college is anticipating the largest enrollment in its 125-year history, it is important to note that more students mean more problems. With that in mind, it makes more sense to inform students of the options they have rather than leaving them in the dark about something that is as major as this until two weeks prior to room assignments.

A college that disregards the input of the students by making choices that directly affects the students without consultation or merely a heads up is choosing to engage in inconsiderate and irresponsible decisions.

As students, it is without question, indubitably disrespectful to take away the option of living that is feasible for many and replace it with a more expensive living option.

In addition to the removal of a low cost option, the cost of living for all residence halls is increasing.

In doing so, it directly affects the purse strings and/or wallet hinges of those that are already finding it difficult to afford housing in Young Harris.

There is not even an option to live off of campus to students unless certain requirements are met. As far as students are concerned, there are not many other low-cost option residence halls available for students.

And with no consultation, what choices do we as students have to choose where we live and how much we will pay? The answer is none.

You should only ask how much if and when you are told to bring your checkbook.
This post copyedited on April 18, 2011.

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Spring break- a much needed recovery

March 1, 2011 Comments off

Staff Opinion

With all of the hustle and bustle on campus, students can lose sight of what is not going on in their social lives. During the week of spring break, there is absolute freedom to just be free and have a great time with friends. As students trek out of the mountains and foothills of Young Harris, the beach is the infamous chill spot for college students. Bathing suits, swim trunks, sunglasses, flip flops, beach umbrellas, music and sun block are the most valuable accessories that are absolutely necessary for a good time. Guys and gals alike pile into their cars and make an exodus to the nearest tropical area that is tourist friendly and great for parties.  For some, this time away from school can be spent with the girls, the guys or even the significant other. Either way you put it, it is imperative that recovery of our private lives take place.

One of the most important parts of preparing for spring break for the ladies is finding the perfect swimsuit. This can take hours shopping online and in stores. The mall becomes the most frequented place. For a brief time, merchants have sales that seem unbelievably life-changing. The plastic cards and cash come out fast and seem to stay out.

The beach is hot, the sun is shining, and people are playing volleyball. Taking it easy is the only engagement on your schedule. You may be tanning, winking at the cute guy/girl walking by or trying to find out what party is happening that night. Whatever it may be, you plan to have the time of your life. The idea of going back to school seems like a nightmare that won’t go away.

Unlike some things that can be dealt away with, there are a few that cannot be dealt away with. Bathing suit malfunctions, sunburn, and STD’s.  While it may seem inappropriate to mention sexually transmitted diseases, it is very important that everyone who may be engaging in such activities do so safely and responsibly. That goes for consuming alcoholic beverages that may cause intoxication. For anyone planning to consume alcohol, doing so responsibly is the only way to ensure that everyone makes it back to school safe and sound. Please air on the side of caution when going on spring break. We all want to arrive safely, and we would be devastated if something unfortunate happen to someone over the break.

Have a safe and memorable spring break everyone!


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Better food would satisfy stomach, wallet

February 28, 2011 Comments off

Staff Opinion

As a with any potential college student, Young Harris College prospective students have many expectations when they come to visit campus.

These expectations stem from visitation day. Visitation days are important for the college as well as potential students, because the college has the opportunity to gain more students and students have the chance to learn more about the college and what it has to offer. On these days, potential students see a glimpse of their “could-be” home and a taste of the food served daily. The issue that is difficult to understand is the false advertising.

When visiting, it is strongly encouraged to visit the dining hall and dine with students, faculty and staff. Young Harris is even known for giving vouchers so that visitors can dine complimentarily.

This gives the visitors an idea of what the food is like. The nice idea of a shrimp scampi or baked tilapia dinner is all but a dream once the semester is under way. Suddenly, all of your previous expectations crash head on into reality. Rarely is there an opportunity to have these dishes as an option for lunch or dinner. The food company that is responsible for preparing and serving the food on campus offers meals four times daily, which can be obtained either in the dining hall or the recreation center café.

There has been a lot of complaining on campus and in the student body about the quality of the food.

As a result, students are eating less and wasting more. There is an understanding that late-night meals are provided free of charge, which means there is nothing coming out of the funds allotted for the respective meal plan that includes three meals per day.

Late night is a new adopted meal option that allows students to eat in the dining hall after dinner free of charge. This is very untraditional for a four-year school. In fact, most colleges do not offer anything remotely like this; however, it makes you wonder about how cost effective it really is.

Hypothetically speaking, if dinner was enjoyable and not just something that had to be done because of a need to eat, late night would not be necessary.

This does not mean to insinuate that late-night is not a good idea, however, if dinner was better, late-night would not need to exist.

Now, as a result, students are eating on the food company’s dime and not their own, thus making it cost defective, making everyone involved loose out.

On weekends students travel off of campus to eat because food is not good or not available. Students are paying twice and so is the company that provides the food.

For the price that students pay for the meal plan, which is nearly $2,000, the quality of the food should be better.

While better is a relative term, this means the food should be cooked thoroughly, available to students when the dining hall is open and tastefully prepared.

The most annoying thing that’s irritation is when you visit the recreation center and the food that you thought would be there is not there, not available or out of stock. Students are held to a high standard. There is much need for improvement.

The saying you are what you eat applies to this situation because how can there be an expectation to perform well if we as students are not being provided with top-notch nutrition. A great leader once said, “We cannot beg and pay.”

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Cut the cord

February 7, 2011 Comments off

Staff Opinion

The title “college student” has a certain prestige.  To become a “college student,” one expects to have displayed certain characteristics such as responsibility, leadership, maturity and intelligence.  Young Harris College is certainly the type of school that wishes to see these qualities to its entire student population; however, it has failed to allow us to fully represent these words.

Starting college meant striking out on your own and taking responsibility for yourself.  All of the sudden, we became “adults” and added things like Q-Tips and toilet paper to our shopping lists that had previously only consisted of items such as Cheetos and Dr. Pepper.  The first night in a college dorm was a life changing experience.  It was the first night where you were truly out of Mom and Dad’s house.  It was a growing experience, but it should not stop after Welcome Week.

YHC has made leaps in bounds in education, transitioning from a two-year institution to a four-year college is no small feat.  However, with a higher level of education, should come a higher standard for its students and future graduates.  We can all drive motor vehicles, vote, buy crazy glue, serve our country and go to big-boy jail.  Surely, we can accomplishments assignments, like writing a research paper or preparing a speech.  Classes should not be reminiscent of high school.  We should not want or expect our professors to hold our hand on every assignment.  Our education should be in our own hands to take it or leave it.

We have become spoiled by the expectation that Dr. “So-and-so” will let this slide or won’t really read this paper, forgetting that the only person we are hurting when making this decision is ourselves.  By allowing the majority of the student population to be the exception to the rule instead of the standard, YHC has fostered a giant, proverbial chip on the campus’ shoulder.  The senior class will be graduating in three months, leaving the safety net of YHC and thrown out into the reality of the world.  They will get jobs, they will be someone’s employee and they will have to follow the standard not the exception.

A college degree says a lot more to an employer than “I completed the necessary credit hours to receive a B.S. in Biology.”

It says that in four years, the person whose name is printed on this fancy piece of paper grew up to become a successful, mature, ambitious and self-reliant person.  It says that this person has what it takes to be both self-motivated and a team player.  It says that this person is ready to enter the job market and compete for the position they have been training for their entire collegiate career.

The question we have to ask ourselves is, will our diplomas be able to scream that much?  In four years of hand holding, have we become the go-getting, future employees of the month that we have been dreaming of?  Or have we simply learned that it is okay to skip out on assignments, miss the maximum number of allowed absences in every class and still be able to make the Dean’s List?

Some of us chose YHC over some of the top universities in the country.  Don’t let that decision go to waste by sitting half-asleep in the back of the class, because you know you can get away with it.  Demand more from the college, from your professors but most importantly demand more for yourself.  In the end, it’s your $30,000 to throw away.

Details about finals cause student stress

November 26, 2010 Comments off

Staff Opinion

With the semester’s end, students are working diligently to finish last-minute papers and projects. Along with the end of the semester comes the dreaded finals week. Outside of the seasonal stress associated with finals, there are other sources of anxiety that accompany this week as well, including stress about the amount of finals a student has to take in a day and confusion about when and where finals are scheduled.

Before finals week, reading days are scheduled as opportunities for students to have a break from their classes to begin studying for their finals. After reading day, the omninous finals week commences. While reading days are perfect opportunities for students to focus on preparing for their finals, students can still feel overwhelmed by the amount of finals they have to take in one day. The way the finals system is currently set up, students could potentially have three finals back-to-back on one day. Though this would shorten the student’s stress for the remainder of the week, having multiple finals consecutively is nothing short of brutal. Even if students had all the time in the world to prepare for finals week the preparation time does not overshadow the exhaustion and anxiety that accompanies taking multiple finals in one day. How well could a student taking multiple finals actually perform? Though the student could be intellectually prepared for the finals, the fatigue from the previous night’s studying and from the day’s exams will inevitably affect their performance.

After students determine how many finals they will take throughout the week, students must determine when and where final exams will be held. Even though a schedule is posted online telling each student when each final will take place, students can still become confused about their proper exam time. In previous years there has not been nearly enough advertisement about exam times. Along with this, some classes hold their final exams at a different time than the time scheduled on the exam schedule. To better understand their exam schedule, some students look to the course syllabus, which is sometimes a source of clarification-though this is not always the case as course syllabi are revised throughout the semester.

But, in the same way that it has not been advertised in the past, students should also be proactive in making sure they are aware of the correct times and locations of their exams, since there would be nothing worse than failing a class due to a lack of communication.

Similarly, students should also plan enough time to study. By planning, students can make sure that they are prepared.This way, additional confusion and anxiety can be avoided completely. Finals week is stressful enough without the added stresses of these details.

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Laundry room woes: pick up your clothes

November 10, 2010 Comments off

Staff Opinion

Doing laundry is by no means rocket science.  How hard is it for you to follow Mama’s instructions?

Sort the clothes, throw them in the washer, add detergent, transfer them to dryer and then pick them up.  Unfortunately, for far too many Young Harris College students, this is a daunting task.

Tension runs high in the laundry room. Not only is it the college student’s least favorite chore, but there never seems to be enough machines.

Everyone has experienced the laundry room on Sunday nights where every single washer and dryer is taken up by someone else’s last minute pursuit for a week of clean clothes. For some reason, wet clothes sit in washing machines for hours, sometimes days before anyone takes the initiative to put them in the dryer. Day-old waterlogged gym shorts no longer smell of Gain Fresh Awakenings; but, instead they take on an odor similar to a wet dog or sweaty tube socks, which permeates through the room like the newest fragrance from Calvin Klein.

The text message system is a good idea, but many students have complained that don’t always receive their notifications; and, if they do, they’re usually 20 minutes late.

This requires students to frequently check the laundry room or check every few minutes to see if their washer or dryer is still going.

All of the sudden, doing laundry is an all-day affair, which doesn’t fit too well into students’ sporadic schedules.  As more and more garments join the Table of Unclaimed Clothes, similar in concept to the Island of Misfit Toys, students become agitated.  On one side you have residents on the prowl for an open washer or dryer.

On the other, you have students defending their territory. This results in students becoming furious when somebody takes their brand new Hollister jeans or designer top out of the dryer.Students become even more outraged when they find their clothes wrinkled from being moved by someone else. It’s time to draw the proverbial line in the sand and start laying some garment-ground rules between residents.

Residents can take steps to make laundry day more like Leave It to Beaver and less like the attack on Normandy.

Laundry room etiquette asks that a person wait 5-10 minutes after a dryer goes off before removing another person’s clothes and putting theirs in, giving the original dryer occupant ample time to come and collect their clothes.

If you take someone’s clothes from the dryer, it’s good karma to fold their things, so you won’t have to hear their griping.

Conversely, if your clothes are removed from the dryer because you failed to pick them up in a respectable amount of time, you have no viable reason to be angry that your load was moved. There are hardly enough washers and dryers as it is without waiting for someone to remove their garments out of a washer or dryer.

Perhaps the YHC administration should factor more washers and dryers into the master plan.  An increase in student population means an increase in wardrobe. Right now, the student to washing machine ratio isn’t cutting it.


Commuters are the forgotten minority

October 24, 2010 Comments off

Staff Opinion

Since Young Harris College became a four-year institution many transitions have been initiated to make the students’ college experience a better one. Unfortunately, for a particular group of students, these transitions do not apply. Commuters at YHC are struggling with various problems that have become increasingly evident over the course of this semester.

Perhaps the most prominent issue is the less than satisfying meal plans that YHC offers its commuters. For residents, meals are paid through tuition. That means that once a resident’s tuition is paid, he can eat in the cafeteria as many times as he wants without being charged additionally. Commuters have two options. They can pay for 15 or 30 meals at a time. This is inconvenient for various reasons. First, many commuters are at the college all day and well into the evening. This means that it is highly possible for a commuter to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner on campus. Unfortunately, if a commuter attempted to do this with his current meal plan of 30 meals, he would have to purchase a new plan in one and a half weeks.

If a resident wants a beverage or a snack, all he has to do is go to the cafeteria and get one. A commuter would have to spend an entire meal in order to do this. At the beginning of the year, commuters were told by management that they were working on way to give commuters the option of getting a drink or snack without wasting a meal; but it is over halfway through the semester and just recently have these cups been available. Additionally, a commuter cannot go to late night unless he is willing to spend a meal off his or her plan.

Not being able to go to late night or eat more main meals encourages disunity among the student body. Another cause of disunity among the student body is from the college’s no apartment policy. One reason YHC has commuters is because it is expensive to live on campus. If a student were able to rent an apartment close to campus, he would be saving money, while maintaining unity within the student body. Many commuters find it difficult to become involved in a sorority or fraternity due to many late nights and long drives home. Plus, it is never a good feeling having to leave all your friends behind. Ask any sorority or fraternity on campus how many commuters they have and the answer will be close to none. This problem could be improved if students were permitted to live in apartments closer to YHC.

Another problem commuters have encountered is due to the college’s inconsistent use of the program “Moodle.” Many professors at YHC post notes, announcements and lessons that can only be accessed from a folder on one of the library’s computers. Moodle enables teachers to distribute that information to all of the students on the convenience of their own computers.

At this time, only some teachers use Moodle, while others upload notes to the library’s computers. This becomes very inconvenient for commuters who have to drive all the way to the campus just to view notes that are readily available to residents. Moodle is a great program, but it will only become beneficial when YHC generates a policy that regulates the program. Many changes still need to be addressed in order for YHC to step into the shoes of a 4-year college. And, changing the commuter policy should be near the top of that list.

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