Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

West Chester! About a week ago, I attended the President’s Welcome Address, like I do every year, whether of my own choosing or due to my class being “invited” to attend. I wrote a news article about the major details of the speech, but now I’ve got to say my own opinion (this is the op-ed section, right?)

My first concern doesn’t even have to do with the address itself, but rather the lack of student drive or interest in the progress of the University. Many classes, like my poetry workshop this year, were invited to attend in place of holding class during the 12:30-1:45 p.m. block. However, I witnessed masses of students (from many different classes) checking in with their respective professors, and then leaving!

This frustrated me to no end. Yes, there were other things I had planned to do with my afternoon, but I’ve found it very beneficial every year I’ve attended the Welcome Address. Even as the Editor-in-Chief of the campus newspaper, I’ve learned a lot of things that involve WCU and its accomplishments. Things that make me proud of my school, and keep me informed of new opportunities.

To see so many students just slinking off and preparing generic answers for the obvious “so what did you think of the President’s Address?” that would be asked the following class period was very off-putting. I wish there was an opportunity for MORE students to attend the Address every year, but unfortunately there’s just not enough room.

[On the other hand, if you’re a student who wants to attend the address and your class isn’t invited – show up anyway. Chances are enough students will leave before it starts, or skip the “class” altogether and there will be some seats available.]

Two items of note stressed at the Welcome Address were distance learning (online courses) and winter sessions. Although students have received brief e-mails about the winter session (premiering this January), many of the details in the speech about the winter classes were left out.

The program is on a two-year pilot, with 10 courses this winter and 30 in January 2012 (and the world will NOT end that year, so it’s definitely worth continuing your education). The classes will be held over a course of less than two weeks, and focus on graduate courses, workshop classes, and travel studies. I feel like it would be a lot of material to cram into such a short session, but I suppose that’s why they’re trying it out – to see if it can work.

The other program that (I don’t believe) students have heard about so far is the projected distance learning program. I have wished for ages that WCU offered online courses: prior to this year I traveled back and forth between West Chester and my little home town two hours away on vacations and breaks. I was always interested in summer courses, but didn’t have the drive (or the car) to pay for a room here for a summer session.

Though the distance learning courses are initially going to be geared toward graduate students, the University does plan on introducing undergraduate distance learning courses in the future. I think this would be a great addition to the WCU pool of curriculum possibilities and that there would be a huge market for it. It might also ease the burden of commuters and the current parking situation that is, to be quite honest, less than perfect.

These two items are a small percentage of the topics discussed at Dr. Weisenstein’s welcome address, that students walked out of hearing about.

My main wish is that the address could either be made available to more students, and/or that students really understood how beneficial the address is..

The more you know…[’cause knowledge is POWER!]

Peace to you,

[ps] How many of you read my editorial last week? There was literally NO trash on my walk here today! Nice job!

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