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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Editorial: Enhancing your UA experience – and ours

    Those of you new to the University of Arizona will be glad to hear that the venerable institution kept its place on U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the nation’s 262 notable universities.

    First, the bad news: We only ranked No. 96. A separate list, which ranked the top 50 public universities, had us at No. 45.

    This isn’t the best news. Sure, it’s unreasonable to expect us to eclipse Harvard (No. 1). But the UA ought to be doing better than it is.

    The good news is, we’ve got a whole year to do better, and a whole new crop of students to help us do better.

    They might be deluged with advice this week, much of it contradictory, but our newcomers ought to remember a few important things if they want to help their university climb the ladder of respectable educational institutions.

    Remember that education ought to be the center of your experience at the UA. Partying and relaxing and socializing should have their place in your semester, but don’t let them eclipse studying and learning. Buy a schedule book and keep track of what you’re doing each day.

    If you’re old enough to drink, drink responsibly. For that matter, “”moderation”” is a good attitude to have toward most of your campus activities. Don’t socialize to the extent that you miss class, but don’t pay so much attention to your professor that you forget to make friends.

    See an advisor every semester to make sure you stay on track throughout your college career, but don’t forget to take the occasional class just out of interest. Once you finish college, you may regret not taking advantage of that opportunity to read Proust or learn calculus.

    Speak up in class. Make sure your professor knows your name, and get to know your classmates. Don’t be “”that guy”” (or girl) – the one who tries to out talk the professor – but do be alert and engaged. You’ll make the class better for everyone, and you’ll walk out knowing more.

    Keep an eye on campus news, which the Arizona Daily Wildcat strives to inform you about every day. If tuition costs are going up, you’ll want to know about it as soon as possible. (So will your parents.) If the university administration does something you don’t like, educate yourself on the subject. Write us a letter, circulate a petition, make your views known. You’re a member of the campus community, and your voice is as valid and welcome here as President Shelton’s.

    All these things are essential to having a good university experience, and they enhance the experience for others, who’ll benefit from being around responsible, hard-working students and fully engaged members of the UA community. That’s the secret of being a great university, not oversized construction projects or even good departments. A great science program is redundant without dedicated students to fill it.

    Here’s the most important motivator, though: Arizona State University moved up three slots on the list, topping out at No. 121.

    There’s something to worry about: If we don’t get moving, ASU’s going to catch up with us. And that’s something no loyal Wildcat should ever countenance.

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