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Old 02-27-2008, 07:05 PM
Ethan G. Marsh Ethan G. Marsh is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 28

It would be easier to take you seriously on your claim that there are "too many unhappy students to ignore" if your complaints were not largely either incorrect, irrelevent or already being worked on. I'm not really trying to defend Drew here so much as common sense. I'm perfectly aware there are many important things that really do need fixing. It's just that you seem to have missed nearly all of them. Going back to your original post we've got:

1. Awful food - there is little to be done here. They changed food contractors a year ago in an effort to improve things. By some accounts it's slightly better, by some it's worse. There will always be complaints about food, everywhere. I've also heard good things about Drew food from some transfer students.

2. No agreements with local businesses - your error was pointed out already on this one. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, I'm just being thorough

3. Tuition - again, there is little to be done. The university needs money to function, a lot of money, as does any school. Drew is in a somewhat worse situation than many because we have a very small endowment and are in a location where the standard of living is extremely high, meaning we have to pay our employees a lot of money. However, as the Acorn recently reported, the yearly tuition increases are trending down, which is good.

4. UC - It does kind of suck, but they are going to address this by building a new one. There is little point in wasting money on developing the existing building, the whole thing needs to be scrapped.

5. Crappy desks - The useful complaint in the bunch. The furniture issue has been tossed around for a while. Everyone knows we need new furniture in the classrooms, it's just a matter of allocating resources for it. With many many pressing maintainence needs every year and not much money allocated for general upkeep, this issue just keeps getting put off.

6. Tolley Brown - This complaint is understandable, but dated. Tolley Brown is getting a massive face-lift this summer.

7. Clubs - You are disappointed in the selections. What you seem to fail to understand is that the types of clubs we have are a direct result of the culture of this school. But the administration can't do much about this, nor do I believe they should try. Many students who apply here are looking for a certain type of experiance, so you get a lot of students interested in the already existing clubs. No one in the school is stopping other types of clubs from forming, there's just not enough demand.

8. Football - Another culture issue. Many students applied here specifically because there is no football team. There are also a host of practical problems with starting a football team here, but the bottom line is, if you want a football team, there are hundreds of other schools willing to accomodate you. This really hasn't been a big issue here, so I think you're in the minority with this gripe.

9. Classroom capacity - In my 4 years at Drew, my classroom changed only once because the capacity was inadequate. I'm willing to entertain the possibility that this problem has gotten much much worse, but I imagine that is not the case. There are any number of reasons why a class might end up mistakingly being too big for the room its assigned to, but this does happen at other schools. It's hard to avoid every possible administrative goof. And, at worst, this is a minor inconvenience. If this has only happened to you in one or two classes so far, I'd say it's too early to claim this is a real problem, unless you have some kind of inside information.

10. UC Desk Sign - I feel like this is a perfect example of the general problem you are encountering with people responding to you by "defending Drew". You challange others to "defend the sign all you want" but you have completely missed the point. I'm not sure anyone is really interested in defending that sign. It's obviously crappy. It's also obviously not important. It serves a functional purpose and that's it, it's not supposed to look nice. Now, if your complaint is that someone can simply walk away from the desk and leave it entirely unattended for significant periods of time (we all know the time printed on that thing is bs) then I'd consider that a legitimate complaint that needs addressing. But its appearance? Come on. Your post suggests "the administration" and even "President Weisbuck" "can't ignore" these issues. Do you seriously want the president of this school to be screwing around with the sign at the UC desk? Don't you think maybe his time is far far more valuable than that? Have you considered the fact that he is the most highly paid person at Drew and therefore should be spending his time doing the most important things? And still, you could take this sign complaint directly to him at his open hours, if you so desired, and you might even get action on it, 'cause that's the kind of guy he is.

Maybe THAT is Drew's problem. Our president (along with many other employees who already have too much to do) is so responsive to student complaints, he actually ends up getting involved with the problem of no soap in the bathrooms, and has to ask his people why that problem wasn't taken care of earlier. Inevitably, when our President is wasting time with this stuff, there is less time for really important issues, like raising tens of millions of dollars for a new UC and Science Building (you know, for example).

All that being said, Drew does have a problem with signs in general. Mainly, there aren't enough of them throughout campus. Shouldn't there be a big campus map right near the main lot for visitors to look at to get their bearings? Shouldn't there be signposts around with arrows pointing to important buildings? Shouldn't the roads have signs, and shouldn't the traffic pattern make some kind of logical sense (the one-way road behind the forum is a travesty)? When those issues get addressed, I'll be more willing to entertain your gripe with the UC desk sign.

In the meantime, you could always be proactive and propose a plan to replace the UC desk sign with something better. Maybe if you get a few people to agree with you and send e-mails to Student Activities offering to help with a plan, they'll agree it's important and devote a few minutes to it. Maybe you could work with the Art department and get a helping hand on a design. That would be kind of cool. Bottom line: this is YOUR school. Take some action. DO something. PLEASE!
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