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  • Children of Eden written by Joey Graceffa
    By: Destiny Breniser This book was published in 2016 with its genre being Young Adult,  Dystopian, and Apocalyptic. This story is about Rowan, who is a second-born child living in a city where her entire existence is illegal. She longs for the day when she can leave her family’s house and live without fear.  She […]
  • An Unwanted Guest written by Shari Lapena
    By: Destiny Breniser A classic whodunnit that keeps you guessing till the very end. With twelve characters to read varying points of view from, there is always something happening to leave you wondering what is going on.  This book was published in 2018 with its genre being a mystery thriller. The story starts with Reily […]

Apathy makes ‘university’ a stretch

It is always fun when someone – especially a visitor – asks the difference between a college and a university. In our case, the answer is “tragically little.” You can explain that a university contains multiple colleges and thereby provides more opportunities than a traditional college. But I for one would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of classical, small liberal arts colleges within a three-hour drive (case in point, I personally know of exactly one).

Colleges now enjoy just about every advantage as a university. In fact, the only real difference I can come up with between a college and a university is the scale and depth of investment in research and advanced study. We, however, are swimming in the baby pool.

The University is hard pressed to justify its designation. We do publish a few studies each year, and we host conferences and symposiums that essentially no one attends. But otherwise we stick to classroom lectures and inspirational speakers. To be fair, the University faculty works desperately to reverse this trend, but they first have to overcome the inertia of 16,000 apathetic students.

And I will be the first to admit that I have not helped. I have attended exactly one symposium (because I was required to go) and am taking part in exactly one independent study (because I needed the hours and I like the professors). However, even this trend could be forgivable if we had a lively student body with active discourse and participation.

We don’t. I have presented on debates and panels on the most controversial topics in our state and school. They pull in a maximum attendance of about 60 (and half of those from a journalism class required to attend). I have also helped to host two prominent conservative speakers. Last year’s speaker, Ted Nugent, netted a little over 900 people eager to see a rock ‘n’ roll legend. The year before we brought Dinesh D’Souza, adviser to the Reagan White House and expert on international affairs, especially in regards to the Middle East. He netted an audience of about 80. Simply put, our idea of discourse is an e-mail bulletin, an opinion poll and a declaration by USG that no one will read and no one will follow.

So what are we doing wrong? I would like to contrast us with the ever-present Ohio State University. Please do not misunderstand, I am not holding up OSU as the ideal system; if higher education is where we come to grow in our understanding of the world around us, then OSU is the intellectual equivalent of a factory farm.

But they also earn their designation. OSU is highly accomplished at research and development, publication and conferences. Academically and structurally, they are not so far ahead of our University. In fact, we have quite a few advantages due to our relative isolation. But while OSU is working on medical research and advanced robotics, we concern ourselves with cultural exploration and beer sampling at the pub. Don’t get me wrong, those kinds of thing are sure to make me a better person in the long run, but they are not quite the type of achievement I plan on citing in my next job interview.

Here’s the long and short of it: OSU has a monstrous campus with a filing and tracking system that make our “P00 numbers” seem personalized, and yet their undergraduates and graduates can reasonably assume they will have the opportunity to hold valuable internships while we can anticipate a broad liberal arts education with no built-in practical experience.

I have been remarkably fortunate – both of my internships and my current independent study are a result of one extremely helpful professor. This same professor has told me time and again that, unless you can give up a summer or two and find something on your own, you can fully expect to graduate with no experience in the field and no way of knowing what is even marketable. (Obviously some of our programs, such as education, are exempt from this particular criticism.)

My point is not that we attend a horrible university. My point is that we, as the student body, have crippled it. We put money into comedians that could go to grants, and we are content with going to class, getting a piece of paper after four or five or six years, and proclaiming that we have done our time and are prepared for the world. I understand that we might never pull in the kind of resources commanded by OSU, but here and now, we are not even making the effort.

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