Ignorance is bliss

Students unaware of school news

Ignorance is bliss

You would have to be living under a rock to not know about the controversy surrounding College of DuPage. That being said, it seems as though the majority of COD students are, in fact, living under a rock.

Recently, the Courier conducted a student poll regarding Acting Interim President Joseph Collins. After speaking with roughly 20 students, it became clear that not only did none of them know who Collins was, but they were also only vaguely aware of any news at all surrounding the college. As COD’s newspaper, we found that a bit disheartening.

We’ve covered every issue involving the college over this past year. Not only that, major publications such as the Chicago Tribune have done their part in covering COD as well. And even if students don’t have the time to pick up a paper, one would assume that they hear at least some of the news through word of mouth. It begs the question: how could the majority of our student population be so oblivious? It’s like standing in the eye of a hurricane and not even looking up.

However, the blame can’t fall solely on students. Sure, they aren’t going out of their way to stay up-to-date on the news. Sadly, that isn’t surprising. College kids aren’t exactly known for their avid reading of the Tribune. On the other hand, COD faculty is undoubtedly well educated on college issues. There’s certainly some incentive for an educator to inform his or her students on what’s relevant to them, yet many don’t make mention of these concerns to their students.

While some professors have made note to their classes about issues at COD, it mostly goes unspoken. This could be in part because of lack of time and relevancy to the class material, but we think there’s more to it. It seems as though faculty, staff, and administration go out of their way to avoid the topic entirely. In fact, in previous attempts to speak with faculty and staff members about college controversies, we’ve received little to no feedback.

It isn’t that they don’t know what goes on; instead, they grow quiet and uneasy when asked about any issues at the college. While reporting, we’ve faced responses such as, “We can’t talk about that without our manager’s approval” or, “We were told not to discuss it.” There is an obvious fear between faculty and staff when it comes to speaking their minds or appearing out of line, and it may be this fear that keeps them from informing students.

Of course, at the end of the day, the people who have the most responsibility in educating students on college news are the students themselves. They ought to know what’s going on just outside of their own classroom, if only for the reason that it could directly affect them. Issues such as the recent accreditation report will certainly come into play for them as improvements are made throughout the college to fit the proper standards. Students should know why these changes are happening and what they mean for them.

It may be too much to ask 30,000 college students to take the time to learn the ins and outs of COD. However, with faculty and staff keeping quiet when it comes to these issues, it’s on the students to take the initiative in their own lives. Even reading an article every week could lead to a better understanding of the controversy surrounding the school. All in all, when it comes to issues at COD, everyone in the community, students included, should have a fair understanding in order to make the best decisions possible. And, hopefully, students will turn to the Courier to do so.