University is a place where we are taught how to be sophisticated adults, where we are able to make choices for ourselves and where we are encouraged to explore the subjects we enjoy studying. However, some departments have seen fit to side step all of these values as they use pre-historic module choice methods.
Both the History of Art department and Management department force their students to drop their new ‘sophisticated adult’ act as they are forced to join a riotous queue to choose their modules. The availability of choice is also snatched from under their noses, as they simply have to choose what is left depending on how far down the queue they are. Even the enjoyment is sucked out of the subject as many students end up studying topics they are not even interested in.
It is not even like other departments use super-confusing-hi-tech-chip-and-pin systems where everyone studying English accidentally ends up choosing Maths modules. They simply use reliable pen and paper. All you have to do is tick a box and sign your name and next term you end up in the class you chose. It’s not exactly advanced.
The system of having to queue up for your modules reminds me of the queues you see outside HMV the morning before festival tickets go on sale or the next greatest games console gets unleashed upon the world. Of course, the difference here is a festival ticket is not compulsory whereas module choices are. Also, the customers don’t spend the money until they have the product in their hand; we have already paid the University and yet we still don’t get full control over our course.
Many students are rumoured to have arrived in the early hours of the morning. One History of Art student arrived an hour and a half early and was still number 47 in the queue. Unlike festival tickets there is no buzz of excitement only rows of anxious faces as students see their desired module fill up. Of course, there are problems with the alternatives to queues; everybody at York learned that lesson very well earlier this month. But surely turning up two hours early is just frustrating for everyone involved.
I am sure that tutors and lecturers don’t appreciate having a class full of students who didn’t even choose their module. No one wants spend a term trying to enthuse students about a topic they care nothing for and will probably end up moaning about to their friends.
The departments need to take responsibility for the organisation of the students rather than the students having to waste hours of their days organising themselves into an orderly queue.