Not all changes made on campus over the summer were as exciting as a beefed up Rodney Raven and fresh asphalt on College Drive. Many upperclassmen returned to AU this semester dismayed by the elimination of freshman parking locations.
One school of throught on our unfortunate new parking situation is that there are more first-year students than there are upperclassmen, so more parking spaces are needed for freshmen than for sophomores, juniors and seniors.
While this is true, because students are most likely to drop out after their freshman year, there is something to be said of rewarding those who don’t quit.
Approximately 30% of college freshmen in the U.S. drop out after their first year. The average graduation rate for private colleges and universities in the U.S. is just under 53%. With a graduation rate of nearly 63%, only 10% higher than the average, AU is no exception.
The juniors and seniors at this university have put more time, money, blood, sweat and tears into puruing their degrees than a sizeable portion of this year’s freshman class ever has or ever will.
What kind of message are we sending to younger generations if we don’t reward the hard work and dedication of our upperclassmen? Do we want to raise a generation of students who don’t understand the importance of hard work because they have been coddled from the beginning?
It’s not about punishing underclassmen; it’s about honoring the students who have perservered year after year and spent many sleepless nights reading, studying and taking notes in the pursuit of academics.
The upperclassmen of AU have done their time in freshman parking. Incoming students should have to do their time just the same.
No one is entitled to the perfect parking spot; it has to be earned. We have to uphold the standard of rewarding hard work for generations to come; otherwise, there will be nothing left to work hard for.