Editorial: Take steps to stop the class crunch

How many of you reading this are satisfied with your schedule?

How many of you feel that you are receiving the education that you had in mind when you signed up to attend the University of Massachusetts? When you paid your tuition? When you set your college goals?

Fewer and fewer every semester.

The crunch for class space this semester is as bad as it has ever been at UMass, and probably even worse. Everywhere people are bitter and full of spite, unable to gain access into the classes required for the completion of their majors, for their final gen-eds – for what seems like any class at all.

This must end.

Students signed up to attend the University with specific ideas in mind, with specific goals of what they wanted to accomplish, to learn. The ideas and goals are being stymied for even the most dedicated students, and through no fault of their own.

The overflow of students and the undercutting of departmental budgets has crippled the ability of the average student to gain access to their necessary classes. The graduation date of many is being pushed back. Unnecessary classes are being taken as a last resort to remain a full-time student and not be removed from campus.

It is time for the University to take steps to rectify this situation and ensure that each and every student has the opportunity to pursue their education with the maximum amount of efficiency. The students who worked so hard to get here in the first place and who push themselves to be the very best collegiate scholars they can deserve no less from the institution which they support.

The budget cuts, which are crippling such departments as Spanish, must come to a close. They help nothing and endanger the educations of thousands of students – not only departmental majors, but those who are using the department to fulfill minors or basic language requirements which are necessary for graduation from the University.

The overflow of students being admitted into the University must also end. The struggle for housing that dominated campus life last year has been alleviated, but not eliminated. There are still too many students trying for a limited number of campus resources and classes. More selective admissions may be the answer to that, or a simple cap on the number of admissions, but either way something must be done, and done soon.

For one single student to have to stay an extra year or semester, with the waste of time and of money which this entails, is completely unacceptable. For an SOM major to have to take Geology because it is the only class open completely ruins the idea of college as a place to grow and to expand your own personal interests, instead replacing it with a place where one simply takes what one can so as not to be removed from housing or from the University altogether.

UMass can improve its record in these matters, but only if the administration makes a concerted effort to do so. End the budget cuts, rebuild the departments, cut admissions, and acts with the best interests of the students on mind and the current crisis and all the frustration which accompanies it can be totally averted.