Ask a Fifth-Year: Not Quad

Jacob Horn

Dear Jacob,

My friends and I want to live in a quad next year as juniors. Our numbers don’t average together very well. What are some creative ways to get what we want?

Signed,

 Jack Canfield

Wow, it’s been a long time since I got an actual question from an actual student who actually reads my article. Usually I’m forced to create my own questions and then incoherently rant about the superiority of Battletoads, but not today! Today there is a topical question posed by an interested party.

So that means I won’t be talking about it. Sorrym Jack — if you’re all juniors, then you’re all basically screwed. So let’s talk about something else, shall we?

Speaking of getting screwed, did anyone happen to read **The Lawrentian** last week? No, not the rant about hipsters; no, not the Op/Ed about how Lawrence should conform to the Christian calendar and cancel classes for the benefit of a select group on campus — because, wow, I could go all day against that one. No, I’m talking about the decision to instate fees for overloading.

My favorite part of the article has to be the quote “perceived stress levels.” It talks about students going to their advisors and whining about how much stress overloading is causing them. This is a curious reason to instate a fee. If these students are already complaining to their advisors about the stress of overloading, why don’t they simply stop overloading?

Which leads me to the next point: some of us have to overload. As I stated before, and as I hope you realize by the title of this column, I am a fifth-year double degree student. It is necessary that I overload to achieve my degree in time to graduate in five years. Placing the fee will not remove the stress. It will add more stress to those who need to overload: the stress of having to pay another fee to the Lawrence Bureaucracy Machine. I have faced more stress working two jobs and two internships to pay for this school than taking four classes a term.

This sounds a bit cruel, but I thought that we were adults. Well, most of us. My sophomore year roommate didn’t turn 18 until halfway through his sophomore year. But we should be able to know if we’re going to stress ourselves out too much by overloading. If you feel that you’re getting stressed out, stop overloading. Simple.

President Jill Beck defends the proposal, saying “Lawrence won’t survive if it does not charge for overloads but does offer degrees early.” I understand that the school loses money from students overloading, so I beg them to force students to stay here the four years they’re expected to.

I adore Lawrence and the liberal arts ideals it sets forth. I’ve taken classes on classical warfare, computer sciences and entrepreneurship. Without overloading, I would not have done any of these things. I would have been forced to hack my way through the classes required for my degree. I understand that this isn’t outright preventing students from overloading, but it is still an attack.

Then again, this is all speculation, so this kind of makes this week’s column exceptionally useless. So, sorry Jack, don’t know how you’ll get a quad. Try hard?

E-mail questions to jacob.e.horn@lawrence.edu. I might answer them.

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