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Featured Athlete: Pierce Harger

Featured Athlete: Pierce Harger

January 26, 2015

Pierce Harger, a fifth-year senior at Northwestern University double majoring in economics and industrial engineering, has been wrestling since the age of four. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Harger was re...

Cutting classes bleeds students

January 27, 2014

Planning a class schedule that fulfills graduation requirements can be difficult, but it becomes next to impossible when core classes are cancelled days before the semester starts, a frustrating reality Columbia students are beginning to face more often.The climb in course cancellations can be partially attributed to Columbia’s five-year enrollment decline, which has left some departments with too many classes and not enough students to fill them, as reported Sept. 16 by The Chronicle.Dropping classes can bandage the college’s anemic budget, but doing so based on size alone, at the expense of students and faculty who rely on them, is not responsible. The seniors particularly have reason to be nervous about course cancellations because it may force them to enroll in an extra semester at Columbia, a blow to the wallet many of them cannot take.Several attempts to contact members of the administration resulted in referrals to Interim Provost Louise Love’s office. Love said the target average for every class throughout Columbia has been raised to 15 students, the latest in a history of fluctuating class size requirements. So, not every class has to have 15 students, but if one has 10, then another has to have 20 to balance it out. Love said the deans and the department chairs have the discretion to make the final judgment on which classes to run and which to cancel. In theory, that should lead to equitable results but, to judge from student complaints, that’s often not the case. When the new provost takes office, he or she needs to address this situation and come up with a procedure that flags courses that are essential to a senior’s graduation or that are offered so rarely that students never have the chance to take them.Adding insult to injury, the under-resourced and overworked advising staff is not always available to counsel students on what to do after a key class has been cancelled. Under normal circumstances, scheduling a meeting can take weeks, and the situation is even worse during registration week. Students who want to replace a cancelled class with an equivalent requirement need to meet with a college advisor, but the advising center’s policy is to make all appointments walk-in only during registration week, which stymies many students’ attempts to reconstruct their schedules around a cancelled course. Expanding the resources for the advising center is another item for the incoming provost’s to-do list.Cancelling some classes may be unavoidable, but when it needs to be done for the purpose of the college’s budget, it should happen sooner rather than later. It’s inexcusable to both faculty members and the students who have registered for a class to discontinue the class only a few days before the semester starts. While it’s understandable that a department head would want to wait until the last minute to see if a course can meet its enrollment minimum, the ensuing stress that students experience is unfair and unacceptable. More importantly, each student should have the right to customize his or her education at Columbia, and cancelling the more esoteric classes in favor of the more popular ones limits students’ abilities to do so. Additionally, department heads should reallocate displaced students into classes that may be already full if those students need them to graduate on time. Even if the class has already met its enrollment limit, adding one or two students will not damage the small-class environment that Columbia promotes.The college has legitimate monetary reasons to cancel classes, but not at the expense of its students. Fundamental changes to the advising center’s resources and revisiting the college’s cancellation process could help students avoid choking down the cost of extra unnecessary semesters.

DePaul drops ball against ranked Georgetown

By Lindsey Woods

January 23, 2012

DePaul University dropped its fourth straight Big East matchup, falling to 10th-ranked Georgetown University, 83-75, on Jan. 17 at Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Road.The Blue Demons fought from behind for the majority of the game, going into the second half down 37–31 after a last-minute 3-pointer by guard Brandon Young, who had 16 points by the end of the night.Coming out of halftime, the Demons pressured the Hoyas def...

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