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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “UA, I love you, you’re wonderful, now change”

    We’re almost there: the last stretch to Thanksgiving and then to winter break, and like every year students are ready to hurl their books into oncoming traffic, throw their hands in the air and give up altogether. Midterms were a pain, scores weren’t quite as expected and classes were impossible to register for. Oh, and to top it off, we’re probably looking at a tuition increase. What’s new?

    The UA has had a rather sad retention rate for years. According to America’s Best Colleges 2008, 79 percent of incoming freshmen return for what I like to call “”round two,”” or sophomore year. Retention has sometimes stumped the administration, but in this crucial, make-or-break time of the year, I have an idea or two. A little proposal if you will – how to retain students, from a student.

    I’m going to take a huge leap here in what I am about to suggest. Ready? Advisers. I know what you’re thinking. Absurd. But what if, in a perfect world, a student could actually get an appointment with his or her adviser without having to wait 3 weeks. I don’t know about you, but when I have a scheduling issue or graduation concern, it doesn’t occur to me a month in advance.

    In all honesty, contact with someone who can guide students and help them make decisions not only encourages but also sets up students for success and helps them avoid the inevitable errors each semester that could ultimately affect graduation.

    Looking at a

    I don’t know about you, but when I have a scheduling issue or graduation concern, it doesn’t occur to me a month in advance.

    SAPR is daunting, and playing the guessing game with classes over a rendezvous with WebReg is just about enough to frustrate any student to the door. Especially when that rendezvous typically ends in a stack of classes you don’t want and no hope of getting into that class you need to graduate. The departments can’t offer these classes without the faculty to do so. But we’re raising tuition left and right, so why can’t we provide students with the classes they need?

    Speaking of tuition: Let’s make it easier for everyone and just post a huge sign at the Main Gate that says “”Out-of-state students go home!”” That would save them a lot of hassle when their tuition rate is raised substantially every year. In-state students have the same fate, only the university will spread it out over two or three years. So maybe a little Post-it next to the sign is appropriate: “”Yeah, in-states, we’re gonna do it to you, too, just a little more subtly.””

    Ultimately, I love the idea of discouraging out-of-state students and welcoming all in-state students with bare-minimum high school requirements. This is perfect. Admitting students knowing they probably won’t last. The UA is just setting these students up to fail.

    Campus life: Campus safety and theft have always been a bit of a struggle. But I enjoy nothing more than buying multiple bicycles to set outside and wait to be stolen. It’s like a game, and the only form of entertainment for those of us living in Tucson.

    Speaking of entertainment, off-campus parties last all of 30 seconds before they send in the helicopter, fondly referred to as the “”ghetto bird.”” And on campus, the university’s mission this year is to rid itself of all greek organizations. Believe it or not, greeks actually do a little philanthropy work, too. You don’t know this because the Wildcat and the university rarely cover that sort of outlandish act.

    Regardless, if the university paid half as much attention to advising, class scheduling, campus safety and individual students as they did on red-tagging house parties and shutting down greeks, maybe we could keep a student or two. Who knows?

    Listen, the football team doesn’t have to win and I can put up with the dead, brown grass on the UA Mall. And even though I never knew that cacti could comprise a garden, I have grown rather found of it and the other quirks of this university. My school spirit is enough to make one vomit. But if we’re looking into retention, these are just a few ideas.

    But what do I know? I’m just a student.

    Chelsea Jo Simpson is a journalism junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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