Can you smell it in the air? It’s crisp air, excitement, anxiety and probably a little sweat if we’re being honest. The
drums are beating across campus (by the marching band) and keys are jingling (around the necks of freshmen). It’s time for a new school year at the University of Toledo, and we are just as ecstatic as the rest of you to see what it holds. For us, the new year doesn’t begin on Jan. 1 when the ball drops. It starts on Aug. 28 with our very first class of the day.
Our new year is just about to begin, and it’s time to make some wishes and resolutions before the clock strikes midnight. We’ve all made some personal ones, but here is our list of hopes for UT in 2017-18.
1. An updated curriculum: We want to see an attempt to update the curriculum to provide a fuller historical context to all majors. This new curriculum would include the historical context of women, people of color and other marginalized peoples. Choosing to leave out the history of these groups only affirms their marginalization. They deserve to be talked about and recognized and studied just as much as European history.
2. More pride in academic accomplishments: TOL – EDO! Sports are a huge point of pride at the University of Toledo, especially with football season right around the corner. But we believe that the university should start caring more about the education of its students than its athletics.
Closing parking lots on weekdays for football and basketball games just so we can have ESPN coverage isn’t valid reasoning to most of the student body. Students already deal with a huge lack of parking in the first place without more lots having to be closed. Limited parking on game days disrupts students’ routines on days when exams are being taken that can affect academic careers. Sports shouldn’t be so important that academic achievement is being sacrificed.
3. Free expression of ideas without violence: Freedom of speech is incredibly important, especially on a college campus where there are so many different perspectives, viewpoints and beliefs. Campus should be a safe space to share these beliefs. President Sharon Gaber says there is no place for violence on UT’s campus, and we couldn’t agree more. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of violence. In these divisive times, we hope that UT continues to be a community that champions inclusiveness and diversity.
4. Improvements to Rocket Solution Central: Rocket Solution Central is supposed to be UT’s go-to problem solver, but, in our experience, it’s rare for students to receive effective and efficient help there. Long lines, incorrect solutions, and games of phone-tag are reasons why students try to seek help anywhere else first. Other departmental and administrative offices around campus sometimes send you to RSC when they don’t have an answer. More often than not, it’s not the correct place to go to.
We want to see RSC workers, both student and regular, be able to serve students better. Waiting in a physical line or one on a telephone is a pain to everybody. Maybe an online chat service for students to talk with RSC workers about simple questions could reduce the amount of people heading to their office.
5. More resources for commuter students: Eighty-one percent of the UT student population lives off campus. That means around 14,580 students commute to campus for class every day. Yet, it seems like there is not much focus on commuters. Save for an event or two each semester and the Commuter Student Lounge in the Student Union, Commuter Student Services doesn’t do much for the commuter population.
This year, we would like to see more attention and resources provided to commuter students. More microwaves, plastic silverware and refrigerators for students around campus. Not everyone enjoys eating their lunch in the Student Union. Those who pack face difficulty finding microwaves anywhere, especially in engineering buildings. We like the idea of more commuter lounges provided around campus, even within specific departments. A place to relax, maybe with a TV, for those late-night classes away from the main hubbub of campus.
There is so much more we can imagine to improve our campus. More bike racks, a new parking lot and free tuition for all are pipe dreams we have. Some may come true, others may not. Changes are being made around campus for the good and the not-so-good (Phoenicia stays, physical parking permits), and we’re happy the administration is taking student ideas into consideration. So, tell us, what are your hopes and dreams for UT?