Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Our Opinion: Keep USM politics out of the classroom

Posted on November 08, 2014 in Our Opinion, Perspectives
By USM Free Press

We understand that there’s a lot happening at USM and emotions are running high, but we all need to try our best to keep our concerns out of scheduled class time.

People are losing their jobs and some students are going to find it more difficult to take the classes they need, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should have to talk about the budget deficit in their classes.

We’ve heard stories all semester long about professors spending the first 15 minutes of class time updating students on what they think the administration is doing to the university, urging them to do something about it and even encouraging students to go to protests and press conferences. Some of us have even been informed of protests through official USM communications channels, like our student email accounts and Blackboard.

We’re all for an informed student body and think that students should be actively involved in discussions surrounding the university’s financial situation, but in a classroom where a student is coming and paying to learn isn’t the place to start. It’s also a bit demoralizing to try and focus on a lesson, when it’s prefaced by concerns that the university might vanish as a whole. For now, USM is still here, so let’s make sure that completing assignments and actually learning in class is still a priority.

Students shouldn’t have to listen to professors rant about how quickly the university is falling apart when they come to listen to a lecture on biology, literature or a foreign language. Economics and business might be acceptable, but we don’t remember reading “the future of public education and how David Flanagan is single-handedly destroying it” on our syllabi on the first day of classes. We aren’t majoring in USM politics and we can’t be expected to offer any solutions during our learning time.

Every minute we spend talking about saving public higher education in classroom, is a waste of the little money we do have to actually spend on that education.

Organize informational sessions, discussion groups and protests, because yes, it is important to be loud about these problems, but don’t do it in the middle of class.

Our Opinion is written by USM’s editorial board.