We were all drawn to this school by different effects as we sat in the early days of January, praying and then deliberating as to where we would spend our next four years. We weighed choices; snow versus sand, large class size compared to small, division three football against five national championships. These seemingly infinite details danced around the positive and negative checklists of our minds and tilted our hearts towards Miami. Although these intricacies might have varied across our student body, we all find common ground in the fundamental reason that we chose this University. There may be times when we do not connect to this feeling-doubts are natural and are a part of life, but deep down we share a common faith in the quality of education we receive at our institution. It is the reason why we are here. Beyond the sun, South Beach, and even the ridiculous meatballs at Randazzo’s, we are here to learn and grow.
So as registration for next semester came and went this past week, it revealed once again a fundamental and pathetic weakness of our school. In a private institution that prides itself on its small-knit community and class size, these problems should not be as persistent as they have become. This is no small matter, this is a scar on the face of our University that should and will prevent it from attaining the elitist status among the top Universities in this country. No one is seeking perfection, and not every student’s desires can be completely addressed-we know that is a reality. Yet, every student in this school has the privilege and right to be content and happy with their schedule. We deal with enough stresses and responsibilities in our lives; registering for classes should not be the burden that it has become: it is unacceptable.
President Shalala has worked too hard to pull this University up to the platform upon which we now sit. To not address this problem would be a disservice to her and to the rest of the community that has made Miami what it is today. When students start to fear registration, when lines form at the Business School for overrides, and when required classes once again run out of space, I begin to question the fundamental reason as to why I go to this school.
When there were doubts about the legitimacy and power of our football team, we answered, and over four million dollars later we have a new head coach. We all know what the football team, the palm trees and the exotic animals mean to our school, but they are not the primary concern of this University. Another national championship is not going to attract leading faculty or retain the contracts of those already here. More money and resources must be put into increasing the number of classes and teachers at our school. There also must be an extreme improvement in the communication between the students, schools, and faculty of our community.
There are no easy solutions, but there are steps to be taken. Stronger student input, smoother interaction between different schools, and advisors knowledgeable enough to help students navigate across the broad spectrum of requirements our majors demand. There is no small answer. This is no small problem, and it can no longer be ignored.
Corey Ciorciari is a sophomore majoring in international studies and creative writing. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org