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Students Disrespect Visiting Poet

Brooke Burger
Managing Editor

   On Sept. 19, during the World Trade Center Memorial poetry reading, several students made a mockery of our school and what it means to be a college student with their asinine actions.

   In the past, people came to college to expand their horizons, further their education and broaden the prospects for their future. However, today it seems as if they come to college because it’s what everyone else is doing or they’re trying to prolong joining the workforce. I say this, because the actions of the students at the poetry reading showed no signs of their want for education or cultural experiences. It only showed their inability to act like the adults they claim they are.

   It is doubtful that students who lack respectability, tact and common decency will see their graduation date or attain a job that pays more than minimum wage. If young adults can not act as such, it’s likely that they will not amount to much in this world.

   While Chester Johnson, a renowned poet and successful business professional, shared his poetry with the audience, these children talked, cracked jokes, played with their cell phones and proceeded to make enough raucous to force other audience members to resort to the rather ineffective “shhh.” Even the speaker became distracted by the noise produced by these individuals.

   Two students decided to spare the audience their indecent behavior by walking out in the middle of the event; however, they were soon after replaced by another student who sauntered in 20 - 25 minutes late.

   During the ovation, these students clapped louder than any other audience member and continued to clap long after the crowd’s sincere ovation died down. While Johnson’s poem, St. Paul’s Chapel, which commemorates the 9-11 attacks on America, was moving, I doubt that was the reason behind these students’ audacious applause.

   So, you may ask yourself why these hoodlums would attend a poetry reading in the first place. The answer – extra credit.  These students disrespected Chester Johnson and humiliated our university in the name of 5 – 10 extra points for a class they will probably drop or fail anyways.

   Is extra credit worth the potential disgrace of our university? I think not. Extra credit, if given at all, should be reserved for students who deserve a few extra points for the hard work they put in to their education and UAM.

   It is my proposition that extra credit no long be offered to lower-level general education courses. Many students in lower-level courses end up dropping at least half way into the semester.

   If extra credit is to be offered to anyone, it should be to students in upper-level courses who are actually here to experience college life and who can act like respectable adults. Who would you rather have representing your university at such events?

   I only hope that the professor who offered extra credit to this class attended the event as well in order to see the behavior of his/her students. It would be a further disgrace for these students to receive an award for their deplorable actions.

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ŠThe Voice 2006
Revised
01/13/2008 03:33:58 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/4_4/comm2.htm