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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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Population Boom

Crowded+Classrooms+Illustration
Crowded Classrooms Illustration

 

 

 

YES – Jon Mael

As a paying student at this university, I think that the overcrowding at the school has gone past ridiculous and is now just disgusting. A wait at the bookstore to buy a candy bar is usually over 20 minutes; and if you want to try to get lunch with an hour break between classes, you can forget it. Even the men’s bathroom (yes, men’s) is turning into a 10-minute affair instead of a 30-second pit stop. Classes are out of desks, forcing some students to sit in bare chairs in the back of the room with their laptops on their knees.

So what can UMB do about this conundrum? Well, the obvious answer is to kick some students out and start accepting fewer freshman. Not only will that lessen the stress that overcrowding has put on UMB, but it will cut down on the number of incompetent students that blanket our campus, thus helping to bring UMB to the forefront of higher education in Boston.

Now, I understand that UMB is currently in the process of expanding. Shrinking the student body would have a very negative impact on the funding for said expansion. But, should they really punish current students to make future student’s lives better?

We are paying the same tuition that they’ll pay when they come here, but they’ll have a much better quality of day-to-day life than us. It’s not fair. We shouldn’t have to spend a half hour waiting for our chicken Parms, or need to get to class 10 minutes early to be guaranteed a seat.

I’d rather see an increase in tuition or fees than more overcrowding. It’s making every day a struggle for students that are paying good money to get an education. It seems like this is going in the wrong direction as well, because UMB is set to admit even more students for 2012, making each subsequent class the largest in UMB’s history. This can’t keep happening, or else UMB will look like Wembley Stadium during Live Aid instead of an institute for higher learning like it really is. Start shrinking the student body, UMB, if you want your current students’ lives to be just as good as the future ones you’re building for.

NO – Jacob Sommer

Students who come to UMB all share a dream: a dream of an education that serves as a gateway to a better future. We also come to rub elbows with others who share that dream with us. They do so, as classmates, friends, lovers, and colleagues. Over the past few years, more people have shared the dream at UMB than ever before, and the elbows are getting chafed. Even so, the benefits of a revitalized student body outweigh the negatives.

We have seen more new clubs come into existence this semester, including several centered on academic pursuits. More people are joining the clubs and centers, which are major components of social life on the campus – and those formal groups can provide support and organize activities in ways that an informal group can’t manage.

More new students have come to the Undergraduate Student Government this year as well. A score of new senators took the oath of office earlier this month, all wanting to make the campus a better place, nearly filling the rolls for the first time in years. They have drive. When it comes to being effective, drive is great; but drive plus experience will be even better, and they’re gaining it fast. Hey, ya gotta start sometime!

Yes, some things do require longer waits or take more planning. The administration does need to put larger classes in larger classrooms, something students cannot control. However, most other hassles can be managed with a little knowledge and a bit of planning. Staggering your lunch hour – and knowing the location of another three bathrooms no more than a minute’s stagger away – can help a lot. If you always wait until later to build for the future, you will never get there. We need to start building it now.

As an institution dedicated to higher education, UMB does have standards regarding who can attend. Not just anybody can come here. Frankly, not just anybody does. It’s a little cramped, yes, and my elbows are bruised; but the campus is more alive. When I graduate, I know it will be in good hands.