Co-curricular philosophy dilutes academics

editorial cartoon by Yasuyuki Nagasawa
editorial cartoon by Yasuyuki Nagasawa

In the past decade, the Student Affairs Office has grown to become what appears to be top heavy; rapid­ly growing and ever expanding, out­numbering most academic depart­ments at the University of La Verne.

On the whole, the Office includes eight sub-offices. It is part of the co­curricular philosophy of the University. In the past, the office was only responsible for residential activities and on-campus events; over the past years, it has grown to include the Substance Abuse Prevention Program, the Lambda yearbook, Aramark Food Services, Campus Ministry, Career Develop­ment, Health Center, International Student Services, Minority Student Affairs Office, Residential Life and the Office of Student Life. While each of the offices is indeed worth­while, is there a need for an admin­istration twice as large as that of all the academic areas of the University?

The two schools that serve the traditional undergraduate, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business, combined have two deans and two assistants.

Over 23 staff members work in student services. Ironically, only 11 people work full time in the Financial Aid Office – an office that must cater to all of ULV’s stu­dents, in which the tra­ditional undergrad­uates are the minori­ty. Here is a sugges­tion – maybe if the school shifted some of the student ser­vices staff to the Financial Aid Office, students would com­plain of the lack of service less?

The Campus Times urges the University to look at how one area on campus could be so heavy with administrators, while other areas have such a scarcity. It is time that ULV stop floating toward building student services at the expense of academics. People do not necessarily choose a college by how many student ser­vices assistant deans a school has, but on the academic opportunities it offers. In a time when students are scraping for financial aid, is it wise to build up non-academic areas?

While many of the services offered are necessary, does each organization really need a t-shirt or pencils or various knick-knacks to advertise itself?

The University no longer uses the term “extra-curricular.” Now the wording of choice is “co-curricular,” suggesting that the traditional undergraduate student receives as much of their education through extra-curricular activity as through academics. While this is true, let us not forget why students attend col­lege. There needs to be a balance so that the co-curricular aspects do not take away from the academic impor­tance.

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