Discourse / Letters / November 12, 2008

Letter to the Editor: On course closeouts

It’s that time of the term again. You get your course schedule in the mailbox, you bust out your course catalog, and you spend days deciding what you need/want to take. It’s an exciting time of the term, because Knox offers a variety of interesting and challenging courses. Assuming you have already decided on a course of study, you know what classes you need to take prior to graduation. Then there are the classes that you wish to take. So, after days of careful consideration and talking to advisors, friends, and professors, you finally come to a decision of what classes to take. Then, you get your course schedule from the registrar. OH NO! You got closed out of a class, and you definitely aren’t alone.

I just recently got closed out of a class for the second time in my time here. Of the eight classes that I wanted/needed to take for winter term, I was unable to get into six of them. Two of those classes were 300-level classes that were requirements for my major and are offered once a year, if that. The two classes that I got into won’t even count toward my major, minor, or other specific requirement for graduation. Now, instead of taking a class that I would like to take, I am forced to take a class that doesn’t even interest me.

When I came to a liberal arts school, I thought I would have the freedom to take a variety of different and appealing classes that would satisfy my educational cravings. I could have gone to a state school, where an even larger variety of interesting classes are offered for a fraction of the price, but I decided to pay top dollar for a “quality” education. The classes of 2010, 2011, and 2012 have each surpassed the previous record of admitted and enrolled students. Knox is becoming more and more popular because of notable alumni and commencement speakers and popularity among liberal arts schools. If we keep taking in more students without compensating for it with things like, more professors and housing, then we students (and parents) will find ourselves wondering: What is my $37,000+ a year tuition paying for?

Michael Orr

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