Letters to the Editor

Common sense

As I stood in line for over two hours to obtain my ResNet equipment, a question percolated in my mind: Why not simply distribute ResNet equipment to students as they check into their dorms? This would save University residents a lot of time.

Instead of being herded like cattle for hours through the Hippodrome, arriving students could receive their keys and then walk to an adjacent table to get their ResNet supplies.

-Jason Vines, senior

Four-by-four woes

I was a student while the administration was discussing four-by-four in addition to the summer session; I was opposed to both components then, and I still believe that four-by-four would significantly limit academic opportunities available at GW.

While four-by-four could theoretically increase the amount of time and effort put into an individual class, it would only make the workload larger and harder to manage. If, as teachers allege we should, students spend three hours out of class for every hour in class, then they would be spending 48 hours per week preparing instead of 45 (under the three-by-five). It will require a lot better scheduling by the University in order to not create a bigger problem for students trying to juggle jobs, internships, student orgs, etc. Given the history of bizarre scheduling errors, one should not be too optimistic.

But the biggest reason for opposition to four-by-four is that it goes in opposition to everything else being stressed by counselors, experts and even our own administration. Estimates say that people entering the workforce today will have, on average, three “careers” in their lifetime. Rather than specialized areas of study, graduate schools as well as employers are looking for a well-rounded education, often in the great field of “liberal arts.” This is why so much of our undergraduate time – approximately 60 credit hours and two years – is devoted to general curricular requirements. Why else would political science students be subjected to three lab sciences and two math courses?

If the switch is made to a four-by-four system, the University will be faced with a choice: either reduce the amount of specialized (translation: major-related) course time, or reduce the number of GCRs required of each student. If they reduce the number of GCRs, they’ll actually be cutting down on the types of subject matter to which students are exposed, which goes against everything suggested to students today. If they reduce the amount of major-related courses, they will lose prospective students who, let’s face it, don’t often choose what school to go to based on the quality of the GCRs.

Let’s face facts: four-by-four may look good on paper. But there are too many problems, too many administrative switchovers and too many mixed-signals contained in this idea to make it worth real and continued consideration.

-Kasey M. Dunton, alumnus

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