The three-strike policy at Weber State may appear silly, absolutely.
The policy is an overbearing measure meant to help students push their way through required developmental math and English courses. Students are required to complete (or, at the very least, enroll) in the first available developmental math course within three semesters before they’re bullied into doing it by the school’s administration.
After the third semester of either failed classes or lack of enrollment, the registration office puts a hold on a student’s registration, only allowing them to register for that specific developmental class for the upcoming semester.
There are plenty of obvious problems with the measure — for example, the amount of students who, when unable to complete their courses, leave their degrees behind. Or the loss of financial aid to students unable to maintain the scholarship-required 12 credit hours.
But the issue at hand is not whether the policy appears silly. What needs to be addressed is whether or not the administration of Weber State University is going to change a policy that allegedly would have affected .002 percent of students during the spring 2013 semester. According to data gathered by WSUSA’s student senate, 73 total students would have been affected by the policy if the hold hadn’t been placed on the policy for spring semester.
With Weber State’s reported 25,868 enrolled undergraduate students, changing a policy that may have affected less than half a percent of total students is unfortunate, to say the least. With the large number of students who are required to take developmental math, it would appear to me that the policy, while made almost entirely of scare tactics, is working.
It’s also important to bring up that the policy hold didn’t come from advisers or administration, those among us who are highly educated and have more experience in academia than most, but from Weber State’s student senate. Ultimately a vehicle for student opinion, it’s not a surprise that this hot-button issue among students was brought to the attention of the university by them.
The senate, known most commonly for not being able to do anything about the parking situation, would naturally lean toward an issue that they knew students would side with them on.
Bringing up horror stories of students forced to drop out of school to an administration whose proclaimed goal is to help students achieve their dreams, it’s not a surprise that Weber State is, at the very least, examining the issue.
As divisive an issue as it may be, the bureaucracy of the measure being placed on hold comes second to the blatant dysfunction of the developmental math system in general. Why is it that, when I asked my academic adviser the best way to take math, she immediately recommended I look off campus? What does it say about an institution that can’t provide a large population of students the education they desperately need to continue their education?
The policy is effective. Despite my own opinions about the issue, the numbers seem to back it up, plain and simple. No matter how many stories you hear about your roommate’s cousin almost having to drop out of school because of the policy, it doesn’t change the fact that the majority of students don’t seem to be having a problem with it. Changing a large-scale, effective policy because it might negatively affect people who should have planned their education better not only doesn’t make sense, but is a testament to how desperate the administration is to try to please the throngs of students within the developmental math program. We need to stop holding up the policy as a scapegoat and start focusing on the real problems at Weber State. Like those freaking geese.