Students don’t need more surprises

Here we go again.

The administration’s rap sheet grows ever longer with regards to not notifying students in a proper and timely manner before instating important policy changes. First, this semester, were the housing changes that have since been heavily modified in response to student reactions. Now, its scholarships.

A news story in this issue details the specifics of the changes, but it essentially boils down to this: The provost’s office has decided to do away with the old system of school-based merit scholarships for undergraduate students. The money will now go through the Office of Financial Assistance and students must now fill out a FAFSA to be eligible.

“Ok, that doesn’t sound too bad. When is the FAFSA due?”

It must be processed by Feb. 1.

“What? When did the administration send out an e-mail?”

They didn’t.

“Did they plan to notify us?”

That’s a good question. Some students in the School of Communication, who happened to read the last item in the “Weekly Wire” newsletter on Jan. 18, knew. Thus, those who knew had about two weeks to gather all the necessary information and submit FAFSA. The bigger problem is that there was no e-mail notifying the entire undergraduate student body.

“Why does this matter? I didn’t even know that schools had merit-based scholarships for undergrads.”

That’s because the scholarships were not publicized very well. Certain schools, such as Communication and Business, were exceptions.

But the changes are not really the problem, and it would be irresponsible to opine on all the details when we still do not know all the specifics. This is also a problem.

“How can you put a new plan into action without having answered all the questions?”

Surprise, surprise.

The administration needs to be more open in how it plans and implements new major policy changes if they want to best serve the students and avoid potential backlash. Deferred Greek recruitment and the previously mentioned housing allocation changes are prominent examples of when the university failed to involve students in the formative stages and had to backtrack.

Will the cycle continue?

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

January 31, 2008


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.