Issues in Focus: What should NIU change first?

By Perspective Staff

Kim Randall

Adding major-specific courses to NIU’s general education is key to enhancing the university’s curriculum and benefiting students.

This change could make students more engrossed in their studies, boost grades and even increase participation in enrichment programs offered by the university.

Essentially, students would be getting a crash course in their areas of interest and would therefore know whether they would like to continue pursuing those career paths. It could also assist students who are undecided with finding a major to declare.

Even if I’m not here to see such a change, I know the benefits for future students and the university would be fruitful.

Blake Glosson

I would like to see NIU implement a more uniform and sensible grading scheme.

The “optional” plus/minus system — with no A+’s — currently intact is severely flawed. The idea that two students could finish a semester with the same grade percentage in two classes and receive different GPA’s is vexatious and irrational.

Another blemish is students don’t have the opportunity to receive an A+, whereas B students and C students can earn a B+ or C+. That clumps students together rather than accentuating the best students, which should be a top priority.

Until one mandatory approach is enforced across the board, students will continue to be graded unfairly and inconsistently.

Jeremiah Caterina

I want students to be taught the true value of their general education courses instead of just being told to complete them as soon as possible in order to focus on more relevant coursework in their majors.

I realize STEM subjects are touted as the future, and I agree with their importance; however, the arts and humanities play a vital role in the shaping of a student professionally and personally. Even the most brilliant engineer cannot be effective if he or she cannot communicate clearly and lacks ethics.

We need a holistic approach to how we educate tomorrow’s leaders, and a broad, well-taught general education foundation provides this.

Danny Cozzi

I want to see the student grievance policy passed and put into effect as soon as possible.

If NIU truly intends to be a student-centered university then it must adopt a formal policy that supports its students when they are treated unfairly.

This is an easy decision for me — and likely any student — to make, so it ought to be just as simple for every professor and administrator.

Though it wouldn’t take effect before I graduate in May, I will be just as happy if it’s put into practice in the fall.

This is an important step for NIU. When the University Coucnil meets to vote on April 2, I hope they make the right decision.