The Growing Divide Between Student and University


At a school known for having politically active and vibrant students, you would think that they would have freedom to express their opinions based solely on the history of the University.  But at the University of California, Santa Cruz, things are beginning to change.  The president of the university is clearly tired of bad publicity for the protesting.  In a recent case, six students were fed up with the tuition raise, student debt, and what Matthew Renda called, “generational divides.”  These students pulled together state-wide hikes for student debt and shut down major highways with barricades to protest their views on the tuition raise.  The University cracked down on these students, who now face 30 days in jail, by suspending each of them for a year and a half with no housing or healthcare.  Many people think the punishments are too harsh for the students, especially for a school known for activism in it’s history.  What is your opinion on the situation? Was the school too harsh, or was the extent of the students’ protest unnecessary?  Also, the tuition being protested is nearly half of the in-state tuition for the University of Delaware… why haven’t we seen protests on our own campus?  Do you think the protesters were right in causing other people to suffer for their protests by shutting down main roadways?


For being the president of the university at the time, Patrick Harker stressed his opinion blatantly and up front.  He wanted a certain group of people to take notice of the things he was concerned over.  Harker is resonating with most families looking to send their kids to college within the next few years.  He is upfront in saying that the tuition rate is ever rising and the need for change is now.  He believed in a radical change of method and teaching.  One that would be tailored more towards students’ needs rather than a professor teaching what they want in the way they want to teach it. He also said there is a need to look into reworking the mission of the University to give the student a more “learner-centric” environment rather than having a “teacher-centric” environment. Do you agree with President Harker’s views of a more “learner-centric” environment? Or do you agree with the professors designing their curriculum in their own way; through a “teacher-centric” environment?  I can imagine how controversial this article may have been when it was released… given that Harker is no longer the president, what do you think the University of Delaware’s board thought about this article?

BIG words:

thoroughfare: (n.) a passage or way through

draconian:(adj.) rigorous, harsh

pedagogy:(n.) place of instruction, a school or university