Commuting No Matter What
The alarm clock rings at 6:00 a.m., and Ashley Duke jumps out of the bed.
She pushes the snooze on the alarm just to get five more minutes of
sleep. The UAM sophomore
from Crossett, Arkansas has to get up early because she has to drive 45 minutes
to get to class.
the UAM Public Safety office, approximately three out of four UAM students are
commuters as of Fall 2003. No matter what the weather- rain, snow, sleet or
hail-commuters have to travel through it all.
On average, a UAM commuter travels about 20-25 miles a day.
encounter many problems including weather, traffic, and state troopers.
Duke comments, “Almost
everyday I go to class someone has been pulled over and is getting a ticket,
more than likely for speeding. They
usually have a UAM parking sticker on the back, too.
Students drive crazy on the way to school. They are always passing, and I know they have to be
year the number of commuters rises. This year, 2,100 students are commuting to the UAM
campus in Monticello, and to the branches in McGehee and Crossett.
Shannon Smith, a UAM senior commuter from Crossett, Arkansas
has been commuting for five years. Smith shares in a recent interview that
“the worse thing about commuting is that it takes away time from doing other
important things such as studying. A lot of students get up early to study for a
test, but a commuter would have to get up at 5:15 a.m. to do that.”
She also feels that commuting can be rewarding in some aspects. “It
allows you time to be alone and think.”
a freshman commuter from Hamburg, Arkansas commutes daily. Greene stated that
the worst problem with commuting is that “It interferes with my sleep.”
Greene says that another disadvantage of commuting is the amount of money she
has to spend on gas. “I try to find someone to ride with each semester where
gas won’t break me.”
Due to an
increase of students, particularly commuters, the parking lots have become a
stress zone for students. A
commuter who arrives for an 8:00 a.m. class has to find a parking spot within 10
minutes. Sometimes a decision has
to be made, the choice of getting a ticket, or getting to class on time.
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Students Taking Longer
A college student stares at the list of classes
trying to figure out a way he can juggle work, the heavy load of
college, and still have a little time to relax. Does this sound
familiar? It seems as though now it is taking students on average 5
˝ years to graduate.
So why is there such a delay in graduation?
According to Peggy Walsh, a free press education writer, it is
taking students longer to graduate due to more students working,
students cutting down on their hours to maintain higher grades,
students changing their majors, and many students having to take
One main reason students are taking fewer hours
and therefore graduating later is that now many universities are
charging students by the number of credit hours taken instead of
having a block tuition.
Is this affecting us here at UAM? It has been
for quite a while now. Carrie Lamb, a senior UAM student, has been
attending college since 1997. Carrie’s difficultly in graduating
has been focused on her major. “I had to have independent
collaterals to go along with my major. It was my decision to do
this. It just takes a lot longer to accomplish. A problem also is
when the courses are offered to take.” In Carrie’s case there were
numerous things that affected how long it would take her to
Can we ever get back to a student graduating in
the traditional 4 years? Now more classes are required for
degrees. We are becoming more intelligent, yet it is costly. Peggy
Walsh wrote of a student, Angela Samuels, she realized that she was
quickly burning out on taking so many course hours. Her parents had
saved enough money for 4 years of college, but felt there was
nothing to do but for them to keep paying. Angela’s mother states
some advice for parents of college students:” I would tell them to
put back more money, because it’s expensive.” It just takes an
enormous sacrifice to graduate now in 4 years.
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When high school graduates make the transition to college they finally
get the freedom they have always wanted. However, the image of college in our
minds and the way that it is depicted on television can be misleading. For
some students, college is full of stress.
Stress is America’s leading health problem.
According to the Mid-Columbia Medical Center, fifty-one percent of
Americans under stress do not sleep at night. Stress affects the way a person
performs at work, in class, and in the presence of other people.
Tia Okolo, freshman at
UAM, knows first hand how it feels to be stressed out.
Okolo has lived in Arkansas for the majority of her life and she graduated
from Dumas High School last May. She remembers being anxious to get out of
high school so she could go to college. She originally thought that college
life would be fun and that she would have a great social life.
Once she arrived at college, she found that it was not what she had
expected. Her social life turned out to be boring and the days of college are
not as fun as she thought they would be.
Currently, she is taking 12
hours. Some of her classes are easier than others but she is still stressed
out. Okolo says part of the reason she is stressed out is because she has
classes that she would rather not take, however they are required.
To relieve her stress problem
Okolo says that she talks to her friends. She says, “I like talking to my
friends when I’m stressed out because most of the time one of them can
relate to what I’m going through.” She feels that not letting all
situations get her down may be a way of not to be stressed at all. “All
situations are not of equal priority.
I try not to let the little things get me down, and I focus on the big
As college students, we all have good and bad times. It is good to have
friends to depend on and talk to. It is good to remember that there is no
college campus that is stress free. Okolo feels better about school now
because she knows what to expect and how to handle most of the situations. She
says, “Now that I know how to deal with my stress problem, I feel like I can
handle whatever comes my way.”
Student Life stories
The Origin of
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
ever wondered why of all 12 months, the shortest month, February, was
the one set aside to celebrate the history of Black Americans in our
tradition started with a man by the name of Carter G. Woodson. Like most
Black Americans who were born during this time, Woodson was born into a
family of slaves who could neither read nor write. In spite of his
dreams, he had to work to earn money for his family which caused him to
start school far later than other children.
lived by the motto “it is never too late to learn," which served him
right. He went on to become a high school teacher where he sadly
discovered that none of the schools taught the history of Black
discovery, Woodson started the Association for the Study of Negro Life
and History. The principle of this association was to study the
outstanding accomplishments of Black people.
19, 1926, Woodson established "Negro History Week". This tradition has
evolved from that day into a week, and from that week into a month. This
is a tradition that is celebrated yearly for the 28 days making up the
month of February, a tradition that is celebrated across America.