Buff State fails to uphold their mission statement

Jillian LeBlanc, Opinion Editor

What is the point of college? This question is usually seen as a dumb one, but society has an array of answers. Some say it is a money-sucking gimmick, a waste of time, an expensive party or a place that induces midday naps. But the majority claims that college is a place to learn, to test theories and concepts, to formulate ideas, and to ultimately prepare students for future endeavors.

SUNY Buffalo State describes college in their mission statement as a place that educates students and provides high-quality lifelong learning opportunities. While this sounds like a ray of sunshine, the reality is far less cheerful.

College is intended to teach students, but how useful are classes when nothing is being taught?

This is a classic example of the much-overused analogy involving a tree falling in a forest, except this scenario is not hypothetical. There are classes on this campus I wish I never took, because I did not learn anything. It is frustrating to take on the burdensome cost of college to walk away from a class thinking it was an utter waste of time.

As much as we like to think that knowledge is available to all, with the Internet, books and people contently at our disposal, college proves this is not true.

Knowledge is not free; students are charged every semester for information in the form of college courses. Students are paying professors to teach concepts most people cannot teach themselves. People are literally paying for an expert’s time, experience and thoughts.

While I, along with thousands of others at Buffalo State, accept this concept, it is appalling to see my money being used so poorly. It is beyond annoying to sit in a class taught by someone who has no experience in the field the class is about – and be told blatantly wrong information. No one is perfect, accidents happen, but when a professor consistently tells wrong information as fact, and refuses to hear the opposition, there is a problem.

It is unnerving to see students ridiculed in class for voicing their opinion, to have their ideas shot down because the professor is not qualified. This is not college; it’s a poor imitation of a dictatorship.

Students should be assisted when they ask a question, not told to “figure it out.” People should be encouraged to debate, and tackle different concepts in a range of ways. To feel as though you cannot speak your mind without being silenced is a sad thought, but it happens.

No wonder millennials act like mindless sheep, corralled by their smartphones, when they get treated like they don’t have a brain. Students are being suppressed, and they don’t know any better to speak out about the injustice.

Learning is not easy, otherwise everyone would have a 4.0 GPA, but it becomes more challenging when you are not allowed a voice. We are the future of this nation. How can we become qualified to take on that burden when we cannot express ourselves? The world might be an unfair place, but this is an easy fix. Maybe Buffalo State should pay closer attention about the staff they are employing, and how well they teach.

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