Experiential Education: Golden Boy or Spoiled Brat?

The Charger Bulletin

By “The Middle Child,” Anonymous

The University of New Haven prides itself on being a leader in experiential education; so much so that it has both a department and a club dedicated to furthering this idea. Both of these organizations hold wonderful programs that aid students in developing their careers. That said, it seems like not a day goes by that I don’t hear a student complaining about either organization. But why, exactly, is this? It’s because experiential education is the UNH equivalent of the high school football player who gets passing grades. Not because he deserves them, but so that he can play in the big game.

Experiential Education holds the coveted “favorite child” spot. Every organization on campus must have their design approved if they want to get t-shirts made, and one of the requirements is that the shirt says “University of New Haven” on it. That is, unless you want to make LIFE shirts for the XE Club. Want to publicize your event? That’s fine, just get it approved and you can put it on any of the bulletin boards on campus. Oh, but if you’re part of EE, don’t bother getting it approved…and feel free to put it on the walls, doors, and windows. The university also has a strict policy against sidewalk chalk because it can become sun-baked into the cement. Strict, that is, for everyone but EE. Need some setup time for an event? Take an hour or two. Heck, if you’re EE take the afternoon and evening the day before too. And if you want to reserve a room for your event, it’s first come first serve.

Although as we all know, the Board of Governors can kick you out. Seems EE acquired that power too. See a pattern?

I don’t mean to hark on experiential education, but the administration needs to realize that students notice when they play favorites. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve heard a student ask, “how come they can do that but we can’t?” If policies are going to be enforced then they need to be enforced all of the time for everyone. Otherwise, sooner or later, the kids that keep getting slapped on the wrist are going to get together and jump the teacher’s pet at recess.