Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Our Misplaced Priorities

I know I shouldn't blog two times in the same day, but I am incensed by the football team. They have decided to miss 2 days this week for a trip to Alabama.

WTF!?? The coaches and provost have decided that they don't need to be around during the first classes of the semester? They don't need to know the requirements of their classes or whether the class will be a good fit for them??

Aren't we a division III school? Aren't athletics supposed to be a nice addition to the academic program of our students? Instead, teams take off whenever they want, have the provost force us to accommodate them, and generally treat classwork as if it is secondary to their games.

This is not the first time--I have had teams announce they are leaving early for spring break in the past(missing exams or other assignments)--why are our priorities so screwed up?? None of these students are likely to make it as professional athletes, but they will have to be able to read and write effectively. Yet, the administration put the sports first. How does this reflect on the quality of our degrees and our institution?


Anonymous said...

...and the women's soccer team is missing Friday and Monday for a trip to California. I feel your frustration.

lammers said...

No skin off my nose. I place the burden on the athletes to make up the missed work. If they miss an exam, they take the one "omnibus" make-up exam offered at semester's end, along with the folks who attended funerals, fell ill, had jury duty, etc.

There's a lot more to becoming a well rounded citizen than academics. Athletics teaches valuable lessons, too. (Disclosure notice: aside from warming the bench for two years in Little League baseball and a year in fifth grade basketball, I've never played an organized sport and haven't much interest in them.)

College is always a juggling act for students, balancing conflicting demands on limited time and resources. I am not going to knock myself out to accommodate those who prioritize other things than my class, but neither shall I berate them for it.

I am in the classroom, each day, doing my job to the best of my ability. I do not take it personally if students don't show up to take advantage of what I have to offer. They are adults and can make their own decisions about priorities, as long as they remember the maxim, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."